Theosophical ARTICLES



Reprinted from Original Sources

Volume I

The Theosophy Company

Los Angeles 1980


BORN in Dublin in 1851, William Quan Judge came to the United States (with his father) at the age of thirteen, arriving in New York in 1864. He became a citizen in 1872 and was admitted to the bar in that year. Having from boyhood shown an interest in mystical matters, it was natural for him to make inquiries which led him to Madam Blavatsky, whom he met in 1874. In the following year he was one of the co-founders — with H.P. Blavatsky and Henry S. Olcott — of the Theosophical Society. When these two associates in the Movement went to India in 1879, Judge carried on the work of the Society in the United States. He started the American monthly, The Path, in 1896, and thereafter wrote for it unceasingly until the time of his death in 1896.

This book presents the bulk of his contributions to the Path, and articles written for the Theosophist, founded by H.P.B. in 1879 in India, for Lucifer, begun in 1887 in England, also by efforts, the Theosophical Society grew to major proportions in the United States. A biographer has said of his work:

He lectured all over the States, and did the work of several men. Every spare moment was given to Theosophy, and taken from his means and his rest. Finally, when the New York Headquarters were brought, and when the work had increased to large proportions, Mr. Judge relinquished his profession and gave his entire life and time to the Society.

The reason for publication of his many articles (now contained in two volumes) lies in the conviction of some Theosophical students that Judge's writings are an indispensable air in grasping the meaning of the Theosophical philosophy, and that recognition of his role and part in Theosophical organization and education is equally indispensable to an understanding of the Theosophical Movement. The merit, however, of what he accomplished, in this case through his writings, may be said to be self-evident. Ardor, simplicity, and depth are present on every page. There is strength of high philosophy, but at the same time a faculty of simple communication unrivaled by any other Theosophical writer. He seems to have understood well the needs and concerns of the common man and was able to write for the average reader with a rare quality of invitation. His command of the language, mad evident in, for example, "The Synthesis of Occult Science," is impressive. His appeal to the heart is spontaneous and unpretentious, leaving no barriers to the inspiring quality felt in so much that he wrote. Almost without realizing it, the student of Theosophy who spends thoughtful time with the writings of William Q. Judge finds in him a guide, philosopher, and friend. These, then, are the reasons for reprinting his articles in a single and easily available source.

A word may be said of H.P. Blavatsky's attitude toward Judge. He was with her from the start, helping and supporting, ever loyal to her and her vision. She called him her "only friend" and declared that he was for Americans the link between the thought of their time and the Eastern secret wisdom. When he was under attack, she declared that he had been "part of herself for several eons." She trusted him, she said, "more perhaps than I did Olcott — or myself." After reading Judge, one begins to see why.

Other writings by Mr. Judge, not included in these volumes, will be found in his books. There are The Ocean of Theosophy, Echos of the Orient, his rendition of the Bhagavad-Gita and The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, and Letters That Have Helped Me — all in editions available from The Theosophy Company.

Judge wrote under many names, those most frequently used being William Brehon, Hadji Erinn, Bryan Kinnavan, and Eusebio Urban. At least thirty pseudonyms have been more or less identified, and there are a few others of which some students feel fairly sure.

The articles in this book appear, not in order of original publication, but in a sequence of groups of discussions which bring allied material together. There are thwo tables of contents, one giving the articles as they appear in each volume, the other listing the titles in alphabetical order. The subject index at the end of the second volume should prove invaluable to students.

The Publisher


  23. KARMA112
  35. THE KALI YUGA177
  38. CYCLES186
  39. EVOLUTION199
  82. MANTRAMS400
  96. H.P.B. AT ENGHIEN468
  105. MESMERISM524
  110. HYPNOTISM553
  111. AUM!559


[From the Official Report, World's Parliament of Religions]

THE claim is made that an impartial study of history, religion and literature will show the existence from ancient times of a great body of philosophical, scientific and ethical doctrine forming the basis and origin of all similar thought in modern systems. It is at once religious and scientific, asserting that religion and science should never be separated. It puts forward sublime religious and ideal teachings, but at the same time shows that all of it can be demonstrated to reason, and that authority other than that has no place, thus preventing the hypocrisy which arises from asserting dogmas on authority which no one can show as resting on reason. This ancient body of doctrine is known as the "Wisdom Religion" and was always taught by adepts or initiates therein who preserve it through all time. Hence, and from other doctrines demonstrated, it is shown that man, being spirit and immortal, is able to perpetuate his real life and consciousness, and has done so during all time in the persons of those higher flowers of the human race who are members of an ancient and high brotherhood who concern themselves with the soul development of man, held by them to include every process of evolution on all planes. The initiates, being bound by the law of evolution, must work with humanity as its development permits. Therefore from time to time they give out again and again the same doctrine which from time to time grows obscured in various nations and places. This is the wisdom religion, and they are the keepers of it. At times they come to nations as great teachers and "saviours," who only re-promulgate the old truths and system of ethics. This therefore holds that humanity is capable of infinite perfection both in time


and quality, the saviours and adepts being held up as examples of that possibility.

From this living and presently acting body of perfected men H.P. Blavatsky declared she received the impulse to once more bring forward the old ideas, and from them also received several keys to ancient and modern doctrines that had been lost during modern struggles toward civilization, and also that she was furnished by them with some doctrines really ancient but entirely new to the present day in any exoteric shape. These she wrote among the other keys furnished by her to her fellow members and the world at large. Added, then, to the testimony through all time found in records of all nations we have this modern explicit assertion that the ancient learned and humanitarian body of adepts still exists on this earth and takes an interest in the development of the race.

Theosophy postulates an eternal principle called the unknown, which can never be cognized except through its manifestations. This eternal principle is in and is every thing and being; it periodically and eternally manifests itself and recedes again from manifestation. In this ebb and flow evolution proceeds and itself is the progress of the manifestation. The perceived universe is the manifestation of this unknown, including spirit and matter, for Theosophy holds that those are but the two opposite poles of the one unknown principle. They coexist, are not separate nor separable from each other, or, as the Hindu scriptures say, there is no particle of matter without spirit, and no particle of spirit without matter. In manifesting itself the spirit-matter differentiates on seven planes, each more dense on the way down to the plane of our senses than its predecessor, the substance in all being the same only differing in degree. Therefore from this view the whole universe is alive, not one atom of it being in any sense dead. It is also conscious and intelligent, its consciousness and intelligence being present on all planes though obscured on this one. On this plane of ours the spirit focalizes itself in all human beings who choose to permit it to do so, and the refusal to permit it is the cause of ignorance, of sin, of all sorrow and suffering.


In all ages some have come to this high state, have grown to be as gods, are partakers actively in the work of nature, and go on from century to century widening their consciousness and increasing the scope of their government in nature. This is the destiny of all beings, and hence at the outset Theosophy postulates this perfectibility of the race, removes the idea of innate unregenerable wickedness, and offers a purpose and an aim for life which is consonant with the longings of the soul and with its real nature, tending at the same time to destroy pessimism with its companion, despair.

In Theosophy the world is held to be the product of the evolution of the principle spoken of from the very lowest first forms of life guided as it proceeded by intelligent perfected beings from other and older evolutions, and compounded also of the egos or individual spirits for and by whom it emanates. Hence man as we know him is held to be a conscious spirit, the flower of evolution, with other and lower classes of egos below him in the lower kingdoms, all however coming up and destined one day to be on the same human stage as we now are, we then being higher still. Man's consciousness being thus more perfect is able to pass from one to another of the planes of differentiation mentioned. If he mistakes any one of them for the reality that he is in his essence, he is deluded; the object of evolution then is to give him complete self-consciousness so that he may go on to higher stages in the progress of the universe. His evolution after coming on the human stage is for the getting of experience, and in order to so raise up and purify the various planes of matter with which he has to do, that the voice of the spirit may be fully heard and comprehended.

He is a religious being because he is a spirit encased in matter, which is in turn itself spiritual in essence. Being a spirit he requires vehicles with which to come in touch with all the planes of nature included in evolution, and it is these vehicles that make of him an intricate, composite being, liable to error, but at the same time able to rise above all delusions and conquer the highest place. He is in miniature the universe, for he


is as spirit, manifesting himself to himself by means of seven differentiations. Therefore is he known in Theosophy as a sevenfold being. The Christian division of body, soul, and spirit is accurate so far as it goes, but will not answer to the problems of life and nature, unless, as is not the case, those three divisions are each held to be composed of others, which would raise the possible total to seven. The spirit stands alone at the top, next comes the spiritual soul or Buddhi as it is called in Sanskrit. This partakes more of the spirit than any below it, and is connected with Manas or mind, these three being the real trinity of man, the imperishable part, the real thinking entity living on the earth in the other and denser vehicles by its evolution. Below in order of quality is the plane of the desires and passions shared with the animal kingdom, unintelligent, and the producer of ignorance flowing from delusion. It is distinct from the will and judgment, and must therefore be given its own place. On this plane is gross life, manifesting, not as spirit from which it derives its essence, but as energy and motion on this plane. It being common to the whole objective plane and being everywhere, is also to be classed by itself, the portion used by man being given up at the death of the body. Then last, before the objective body, is the model or double of the outer physical case. This double is the astral body belonging to the astral plane of matter, not so dense as physical molecules, but more tenuous and much stronger, as well as lasting. It is the original of the body permitting the physical molecules to arrange and show themselves thereon, allowing them to go and come from day to day as they are known to do, yet ever retaining the fixed shape and contour given by the astral double within. These lower four principles or sheaths are the transitory perishable part of man, not himself, but in every sense the instrument he uses, given up at the hour of death like an old garment, and rebuilt out of the general reservoir at every new birth. The trinity is the real man, the thinker, the individuality that passes from house to house, gaining experience at each rebirth, while it suffers and enjoys according to its deeds - it is the one central man, the living spirit-soul.


Now this spiritual man, having always existed, being intimately concerned in evolution, dominated by the law of cause and effect, because in himself he is that very law, showing moreover on this plane varieties of force of character, capacity, and opportunity, his very presence must be explained, while the differences noted have to be accounted for. The doctrine of reincarnation does all this. It means that man as a thinker, composed of soul, mind and spirit, occupies body after body in life after life on the earth which is the scene of his evolution, and where he must, under the very laws of his being, complete that evolution, once it has been begun. In any one life he is known to others as a personality, but in the whole stretch of eternity he is one individual, feeling in himself an identity not dependent on name, form, or recollection.

This doctrine is the very base of Theosophy, for it explains life and nature. It is one aspect of evolution, for as it is re-embodiment in meaning, and as evolution could not go on without re-embodiment, it is evolution itself, as applied to the human soul. But it is also a doctrine believed in at the time given to Jesus and taught in the early ages of Christianity, being now as much necessary to that religion as it is to any other to explain texts, to reconcile the justice of God with the rough and merciless aspect of nature and life to most mortals, and to throw a light perceptible by reason on all the problems that vex us in our journey through this world. The vast, and under any other doctrine unjust, difference between the savage and the civilized man as to both capacity, character, and opportunity can be understood only through this doctrine, and coming to our own stratum the differences of the same kind may only thus be explained. It vindicates Nature and God, and removes from religion the blot thrown by men who have postulated creeds which paint the creator as a demon. Each man's life and character are the outcome of his previous lives and thoughts. Each is his own judge, his own executioner, for it is his own hand that forges the weapon which works for his punishment, and each by his own life reaches reward, rises to heights of knowledge and power for the good of all who may


be left behind him. Nothing is left to chance, favor, or partiality, but all is under the governance of law. Man is a thinker, and by his thoughts he makes the causes for woe or bliss; for his thoughts produce his acts. He is the centre for any disturbance of the universal harmony, and to him as the centre the disturbance must return so as to bring about equilibrium, for nature always works towards harmony. Man is always carrying on a series of thoughts, which extend back to the remote past, continually making action and reaction. He is thus responsible for all his thoughts and acts, and in that his complete responsibility is established; his own spirit is the essence of this law and provides for ever compensation for every disturbance and adjustment for all effects. This is the law of Karma or justice, sometimes called the ethical law of causation. It is not foreign to the Christian scriptures, for both Jesus and St. Paul clearly enunciated it. Jesus said we should be judged as we gave judgment and should receive the measure meted to others. St. Paul said: "Brethren, be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that also shall he reap." And that sowing and reaping can only be possible under the doctrines of Karma and reincarnation.

But what of death and after? Is heaven a place or is it not? Theosophy teaches, as may be found in all sacred books, that after death the soul reaps a rest. This is from its own nature. It is a thinker, and cannot during life fulfill and carry out all nor even a small part of the myriads of thoughts entertained. Hence when at death it casts off the body and the astral body, and is released from the passions and desires, its natural forces have immediate sway and it thinks its thoughts out on the soul plane, clothed in a finer body suitable to that existence. This is called Devachan. It is the very state that has brought about the descriptions of heaven common to all religions, but this doctrine is very clearly put in the Buddhist and Hindu religions. It is a time of rest, because the physical body being absent the consciousness is not in the completer touch with visible nature which is possible on the material plane. But it is a real existence, and no more illusionary than earth life; it


is where the essence of the thoughts of life that were as high as character permitted, expands and is garnered by the soul and mind. When the force of these thoughts is fully exhausted the soul is drawn back once more to earth, to that environment which is sufficiently like unto itself to give it the proper further evolution. This alternation from state to state goes on until the being rises from repeated experiences above ignorance, and realizes in itself the actual unity of all spiritual beings. Then it passes on to higher and greater steps on the evolutionary road.

No new ethics are presented by Theosophy, as it is held that right ethics are for ever the same. But in the doctrines of Theosophy are to be found the philosophical and reasonable basis for ethics and the natural enforcement of them in practice. Universal brotherhood is that which will result in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, and in your loving your neighbour as yourself―declared as right by all teachers in the great religions of the world.

Lucifer, December, 1893William Q. Judge


THE mistake is being made by a great many persons, among them being Theosophists, of applying several of the doctrines current in Theosophical literature, to only one or two phases of a question or to only one thing at a time, limiting rules which have universal application to a few cases, when in fact all those doctrines which have been current in the East for so long a time should be universally applied. For instance, take the law of Karma. Some people say, "yes, we believe in that," but they only apply it to human beings. They consider it only in its relation to their own acts or to the acts of all men. Sometimes they fail to see that it has its effect not only on themselves and their fellows, but as well on the greatest of Mahatmas. Those great Beings are not exempt from it; in fact they are, so to say, more bound by it than we are. Although they are said to be above Karma, this is only to be taken to mean that, having escaped from the wheel of Samsara (which means the wheel of life and death, or rebirths), and in that sense are above Karma, at the same time we will find them often unable to act in a given case. Why? If they have transcended Karma, how can it be possible that in any instance they may not break the law, or perform certain acts which to us seem to be proper at just that juncture? Why can they not, say in the case of a chela who has worked for them and for the cause, for years with the most exalted unselfishness, interfere and save him from suddenly falling or being overwhelmed by horrible misfortune; or interfere to help or direct a movement? It is because they have become part of the great law of Karma itself. It would be impossible for them to lift a finger.

Again, we know that at a certain period of progress, far


above this sublunary world, the adept reaches a point when he may, if he so chooses, formulate a wish that he might be one of the Devas, one of that bright host of beings of whose pleasure, glory and power we can have no idea. The mere formulation of the wish is enough. At that moment he becomes one of the Devas. He then for a period of time which in its extent is incalculable, enjoys that condition―then what? Then he has to begin again low down in the scale, in a mode and for a purpose which it would be useless to detail here, because it could not be understood, and also because I am not able to put it in any language with which I am conversant. In this, then, is not this particular adept who thus fell, subject to the law of Karma?

There is in the Hindoo books a pretty story which illustrates this. A certain man heard that every day a most beautiful woman rose up out of the sea, and combed her hair. He resolved that he would go to see her. He went, and she rose up as usual. He sprang into the sea behind her, and with her went down to her abode. There he lived with her for a vast length of time. One day she said she had to go away and stated that he must not touch a picture which was on the wall, and then departed. In a few days, fired by curiosity, he went to look at the picture; saw that it was an enameled one of a most ravishingly beautiful person, and he put out his hand to touch it. At that moment the foot of the figure suddenly enlarged, flew out from the frame, and sent him back to the scenes of earth, where he met with only sorrow and trouble.

The law of Karma must be applied to everything. Nothing is exempt from it. It rules the vital molecule from plant up to Brahma himself. Apply it then to the vegetable, animal and human kingdom alike.

Another law is that of Reincarnation. This is not to be confined only to the souls and bodies of men. Why not use it for every branch of nature to which it may be applicable? Not only are we, men and women, reincarnated; but also every molecule of which our bodies are composed. In what way, then, can we connect this rule with all of our thoughts? Does


it apply there? It seems to me that it does, and with as much force as anywhere. Each thought is of definite length. It does not last for over what we may call an instant, but the time of its duration is in fact much shorter. It springs into life and then it dies; but it is at once reborn in the form of another thought. And thus the process goes on from moment to moment, from hour to hour, from day to day. And each one of these reincarnated thoughts lives its life, some good, some bad, some so terrible in their nature that if we could see them we would shrink back in affright. Further than that, a number of these thoughts form themselves into a certain idea, and it dies to be reincarnated in its time. Thus on rolls this vast flood. Will it overwhelm us? It may; it often does. Let us then make our thoughts pure. Our thoughts are the matrix, the mine, the fountain, the source of all that we are and of all that we may be.

The Occult World, May, 1886William Q. Judge


DURING the last few years in which so much writing has been done in the theosophical field of effort, a failure to make broad or universal applications of the doctrines brought forward can be noticed. With the exception of H. P. Blavatsky, our writers have confined themselves to narrow views, chiefly as to the state of man after death or how Karma affects him in life. As to the latter law, the greatest consideration has been devoted to deciding how it modifies our pleasure or our pain, and then as to whether in Devachan there will be compensation for failures of Karma; while others write upon reincarnation as if only mankind were subject to that law. And the same limited treatment is adopted in treating of or practicing many other theories and doctrines of the Wisdom Religion. After fourteen years of activity it is now time that the members of our society should make universal the application of each and every admitted doctrine or precept, and not confine them to their own selfish selves.

In order to make my meaning clear I purpose in this paper to attempt an outline of how such universal applications of some of our doctrines should be made.

Before taking up any of these I would draw the attention of those who believe in the Upanishads to the constant insistence throughout those sacred books upon the identity of man with Brahma, or God, or nature, and to the universal application of all doctrines or laws.


In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad1 it is said:

Tell me the Brahman which is visible, not invisible, the atman who is within all? This, thy Self who is within all He who breathes in the up-breathing, he is thy

Self and within all. He who breathes in the down-breathing, he is thy Self and within all. He who breathes in the on-breathing, he is thy Self and within all. This is thy Self who is within all.

The 6th Brahmana is devoted to showing that all the worlds are woven in and within each other; and in the 7th the teacher declares that "the puller" or mover in all things whatsoever is the same Self which is in each man.

The questioners then proceed and draw forth the statement that "what is above the heavens, beneath the earth, embracing heaven and earth, past, present, and future, that is woven, like warp and woof, in the ether," and that the ether is "woven like warp and woof in the Imperishable." If this be so, then any law that affects man must govern every portion of the universe in which he lives.

And we find these sturdy men of old applying their doctrines in every direction. They use the laws of analogy and correspondences to solve deep questions. Why need we be behind them? If the entire great Self dwells in man, the body in all its parts must symbolize the greater world about. So we discover that space having sound as its distinguishing characteristic is figured in the human frame by the ear, as fire is by the eye, and, again, the eye showing forth the soul, for the soul alone conquers death, and that which in the Upanishads conquers death is fire.

It is possible in this manner to proceed steadily toward the acquirement of a knowledge of the laws of nature, not only those that are recondite, but also the more easily perceived. If we grant that the human body and organs are a figure, in little, of the universe, then let us ask the question, "By what is the astral light symbolized?" By the eye, and specially by the retina and its mode of action. On the astral light are received the pictures of all events and things, and on the retina are received

1 111 Adh., 4th Brah.


the images of objects passing before the man. We find that these images on the retina remain for a specific period, capable of measurement, going through certain changes before fading completely away. Let us extend the result of this observation to the astral light, and we assume that it also goes through similar changes in respect to the pictures. From this it follows that the mass or totality of pictures made during any cycle must, in this great retina, have a period at the end of which they will have faded away. Such we find is the law as stated by those who know the Secret Doctrine. In order to arrive at the figures with which to represent this period, we have to calculate the proportion thus: as the time of fading from the human retina is to the healthy man’s actual due of life, so is the time of fading from the astral light. The missing term may be discovered by working upon the doctrine of the four yugas or ages and the length of one life of Brahma.

Now these theosophical doctrines which we have been at such pains to elaborate during all the years of our history are either capable of universal application or they are not. If they are not, then they are hardly worth the trouble we have bestowed upon them; and it would then have been much better for us had we devoted ourselves to some special departments of science.

But the great allurement that theosophy holds for those who follow it is that its doctrines are universal, solving all questions and applying to every department of nature so far as we know it. And advanced students declare that the same universal application prevails in regions far beyond the grasp of present science or of the average man’s mind. So that, if a supposed law or application is formulated to us, either by ourselves or by some other person, we are at once able to prove it; for unless it can be applied in every direction―by correspondence, or is found to be one of the phases of some previously-admitted doctrine, we know that it is false doctrine or inaccurately stated. Thus all our doctrines can be proved and checked at every step. It is not necessary for us to have constant communications with the Adepts in order to make sure of our ground;


all that we have to do is to see if any position we assume agrees with well-known principles already formulated and understood.

Bearing this in mind, we can confidently proceed to examine the great ideas in which so many of us believe, with a view of seeing how they may be applied in every direction. For if, instead of selfishly considering these laws in their effect upon our miserable selves, we ask how they apply everywhere, a means is furnished for the broadening of our horizon and the elimination of selfishness. And when also we apply the doctrines to all our acts and to all parts of the human being, we may begin to wake ourselves up to the real task set before us.

Let us look at Karma. It must be applied not only to the man but also to the Cosmos, to the globe upon which he lives. You know that, for the want of an English word, the period of one great day of evolution is called a Manwantara, or the reign of one Manu. These eternally succeed each other. In other words, each one of us is a unit, or a cell, if you please, in the great body or being of Manu, and just as we see ourselves making Karma and reincarnating for the purpose of carrying off Karma, so the great being Manu dies at the end of a Manwantara, and after the period of rest reincarnates once more, the sum total of all that we have made him or it. And when I say "we," I mean all the beings on whatever plane or planet who are included in that Manwantara. Therefore this Manwantara is just exactly what the last Manwantara made it, and so the next Manwantara after this millions of years off―will be the sum or result of this one, plus all that have preceded it.

How much have you thought upon the effect of Karma upon the animals, the plants, the minerals, the elemental beings? Have you been so selfish as to suppose that they are not affected by you? Is it true that man himself has no responsibility upon him for the vast numbers of ferocious and noxious animals, for the deadly serpents and scorpions, the devastating lions and tigers, that make a howling wilderness of some corners of the earth and terrorize the people of India and else-


where? It cannot be true. But as the Apostle of the Christians said, it is true that the whole of creation waits upon man and groans that he keeps back the enlightenment of all. What happens when, with intention, you crush out the life of a common croton bug? Well, it is destroyed and you forget it. But you brought it to an untimely end, short though its life would have been. Imagine this being done at hundreds of thousands of places in the State. Each of these little creatures had life and energy; each some degree of intelligence. The sum total of the effects of all these deaths of small things must be appreciable. If not, then our doctrines are wrong and there is no wrong in putting out the life of a human being.

Let us go a little higher, to the bird kingdom and that of four-footed beasts. Every day in the shooting season in England vast quantities of birds are killed for sport, and in other places such intelligent and inoffensive animals as deer. These have a higher intelligence than insects, a wider scope of feeling. Is there no effect under Karma for all these deaths? And what is the difference between wantonly killing a deer and murdering an idiot? Very little to my mind. Why is it, then, that even delicate ladies will enjoy the recital of a bird or deer hunt? It is their Karma that they are the descendants of long generations of Europeans who some centuries ago, with the aid of the church, decided that animals had no souls and therefore could be wantonly slaughtered. The same Karma permits the grandson of the Queen of England who calls herself the defender of the faith―of Jesus―to have great preparations made for his forth-coming visit to India to the end that he shall enjoy several weeks of tiger-hunting, pig-sticking, and the destruction of any and every bird that may fly in his way.

We therefore find ourselves ground down by the Karma of our national stem, so that we are really almost unable to tell what thoughts are the counterfeit presentments of the thoughts of our forefathers, and what self-born in our own minds.

Let us now look at Reincarnation, Devachan, and Karma.


It has been the custom of theosophists to think upon these subjects in respect only to the whole man―that is to say, respecting the ego.

But what of its hourly and daily application? If we believe in the doctrine of the One Life, then every cell in these material bodies must be governed by the same laws. Each cell must be a life and have its karma, devachan, and reincarnation. Every one of these cells upon incarnating among the others in our frame must be affected by the character of those it meets; and we make that character. Every thought upon reaching its period dies. It is soon reborn, and coming back from its devachan it finds either bad or good companions provided for it. Therefore every hour of life is fraught with danger or with help. How can it be possible that a few hours a week devoted to theosophic thought and action can counteract―even in the gross material cells―the effect of nearly a whole week spent in indifference, frivolity, or selfishness? This mass of poor or bad thought will form a resistless tide that shall sweep away all your good resolves at the first opportunity.

This will explain why devoted students often fail. They have waited for a particular hour or day to try their strength, and when the hour came they had none. If it was anger they had resolved to conquer, instead of trying to conquer it at an offered opportunity they ran away from the chance so as to escape the trial; or they did not meet the hourly small trials that would, if successfully passed, have given them a great reserve of strength, so that no time of greater trial would have been able to overcome them.

Now as to the theory of the evolution of the macrocosm in its application to the microcosm, man.

The hermetic philosophy held that man is a copy of the greater universe; that he is a little universe in himself, governed by the same laws as the great one, and in the small proportions of a human being showing all those greater laws in operation, only reduced in time or sweep. This is the rule to which H. P. Blavatsky adheres, and which is found running through all the ancient mysteries and initiations.


It is said that our universe is a collection of atoms or molecules―called also "lives"; living together and through each the spirit struggles to reach consciousness, and that this struggle is governed by a law compelling it to go on in or between periods. In any period of such struggle some of these atoms or collections of molecules are left over, as it were, to renew the battle in the next period, and hence the state of the universe at any time of manifestation―or the state of each newly-manifested universe―must be the result of what was done in the preceding period.

Coming down to the man, we find that he is a collection of molecules or lives or cells, each striving with the other, and all affected for either good or bad results by the spiritual aspirations or want of them in the man who is the guide or god, so to say, of his little universe. When he is born, the molecules or cells or lives that are to compose his physical and astral forms are from that moment under his reign, and during the period of his smaller life they pass through a small manvantara just as the lives in the universe do, and when he dies he leaves them all impressed with the force and color of his thoughts and aspirations, ready to be used in composing the houses of other egos.

Now here is a great responsibility revealed to us of a double character.

The first is for effects produced on and left in what we call matter in the molecules, when they come to be used by other egos, for they must act upon the latter for benefit or the reverse.

The second is for the effect on the molecules themselves in this, that there are lives or entities in all―or rather they are all lives―who are either aided or retarded in their evolution by reason of the proper or improper use man made of this matter that was placed in his charge.

Without stopping to argue about what matter is, it will be sufficient to state that it is held to be co-eternal with what is called "spirit." That is, as it is put in the Bhagavad-Gita: "He


who is spirit is also matter." Or, in other words, spirit is the opposite pole to matter of the Absolute. But of course this matter we speak of is not what we see about us, for the latter is only in fact phenomena of matter: even science holds that we do not really see matter.

Now during a manvantara or period of manifestation, the egos incarnating must use over and over again in any world upon which they are incarnating the matter that belongs to it.

So, therefore, we are now using in our incarnations matter that has been used by ourselves and other egos over and over again, and are affected by the various tendencies impressed in it. And, similarly, we are leaving behind us for future races that which will help or embarrass them in their future lives.

This is a highly important matter, whether reincarnation be a true doctrine or not. For if each new nation is only a mass of new egos or souls, it must be much affected by the matter-environment left behind by nations and races that have disappeared forever.

But for us who believe in reincarnation it has additional force, showing us one strong reason why universal brotherhood should be believed in and practised.

The other branch of the responsibility is just as serious. The doctrine that removes death from the universe and declares that all is composed of innumerable lives, constantly changing places with each other, contains in it of necessity the theory that man himself is full of these lives and that all are traveling up the long road of evolution.

The secret doctrine holds that we are full of kingdoms of entities who depend upon us, so to say, for salvation.

How enormous, then, is this responsibility, that we not only are to be judged for what we do with ourselves as a whole, but also for what we do for those unseen beings who are dependent upon us for light.

Path, October, 1889William Q. Judge


IT is commonly charged against the exponents of Theosophy that they deal in vague generalities only. A lecture is given or paper read by a Theosophist, and the profane hearer laughs, saying, "All this is metaphysical absurdity; these are mere abstractions; let us have something like that which science gives us, something we can grasp."

A great many persons imagine, knowing but little in reality about science, that it is sure, certain, and fixed in the vital premises which underlie the practical outcome seen in many branches of life's activity. Why is this so? An inquiry into the question discloses the fact that some, if not all, the basic postulates of science are the purest abstractions, and that many statements from which deductions of fact are drawn are themselves the merest hypotheses. We will also find that the commonest of people unconsciously use in every work-a-day acts the most abstract and indefinite premises without which they could do but little.

Take navigation of the ocean, by which we are able to send the largest ships carrying the richest of cargoes from shore to shore of any sea. These are guided in their course by men who know little or nothing of Theosophy and who would laugh at metaphysics. But in order to safely carry the ship from departure to destination, they have to use the lines of longitude and latitude, which, while seeming very real to them, have no existence whatever, except in theory. These lines must be used, and, if not, the ship will strike a rock or run upon the shore. Where are the parallels of longitude and latitude? They are imagined to be on the earth, but their only visible existence


is upon the chart made by man, and their real existence is in the mind of the astronomer and those who understand the science of navigation. The sea captain may think they are on the chart, or he may not think of it at all. Where do they stop? Nowhere; they are said to extend indefinitely into space; yet these abstractions are used for present human commercial needs. Is this any less vague than Theosophy?

In the latter we have to guide the great human ship from shore to shore, and in that immense journey are obliged to refer to abstractions from which to start. Our spiritual parallels of latitude and longitude are abstractions, indeed, but no more so than those laid down upon the seaman’s chart. The scientific materialist says: "What nonsense to speak of coming out of the Absolute!" We may reply, "What nonsense for the mariner to attempt to guide his ship by that which has no existence whatever, except in fancy; by that which is a pure abstraction!" Again he laughs at us for assuming that there is such a thing as the soul, "for," he says, "no man has ever seen it, and none ever can; it cannot be demonstrated." With perfect truth we can reply: "Where is the atom of science; who has ever seen it; where and when has its existence been demonstrated?" The "atom" of science is today as great a mystery as the "soul" of Theosophy. It is a pure hypothesis, undemonstrated and un-demonstrable. It can neither be weighed, nor measured, nor found with a microscope: indeed, in the opinion of many Theosophists it is a far greater mystery than the soul, because some say they have seen that which may be soul; which looks like it; and no man has been, at any time, so fortunate or unfortunate as to have seen an atom.

Further, the scientific materialist says, "What do you know about the powers of the soul, which you say is the central sun of the human system?" And we answer that "it is no more indefinite for us than the sun is for the astronomers who attempt to measure its heat and estimate its distance. As to the heat of the sun, not all are agreed that it has any heat whatever, for some learned men think that it is a source of an energy which creates heat when it reaches the earth’s atmosphere only.


Others, celebrated in the records of science, such as Newton, Fizeau, and many other well-known astronomers, disagree as to the quantity of heat thrown out by the sun, on the hypothesis that it has any heat, and that difference is so great as to reach 8,998,600 degrees. Thus as to the central sun of this system, there is the greatest vagueness in science and no agreement as to what may be the truth in this important matter. In Theosophy, however, on the other hand, although there is some vagueness with mere students as to the exact quantity of heat or light thrown out by the soul, those who have devoted more time to its study are able to give closer estimates than any which have been given by scientific men in respect to the sun of the solar system. Yet all these generalities of science are the very things that have led to the present wonderful material development of the nineteenth century.

But let us glance for a moment at the subject of evolution, which engages the thought of materialist and theosophist alike; let us see if theosophy is more vague than its opponents, or more insane, we might say, in ability to lay wild theories before intelligent men. The well-known Haeckel in his Pedigree of Man says, in speaking of Darwin’s teachings and lauding them: "Darwin puts in the place of a conscious creative force, building and arranging the organic bodies of animals and plants on a designed plan, a series of natural forces working blindly, or we say, without aim, without design. In place of an arbitrary act we have a necessary law of evolution. . . . A mechanical origin of the earliest living form was held as the necessary sequence of Darwin’s teaching." Here we have blind, undesigning forces, beginning work without design, haphazard, all being jumbled together, but finally working out into a beautiful design visible in the smallest form we can see. There is not a single proof in present life whether mineral, vegetable, or animal, that such a result from such a beginning could by any possibility eventuate. But these scientific men in those matters are safe in making hypotheses, because the time is far in the dark of history when these blind, undesigning acts were begun. Yet they ought to show some present instances


of similar blindness producing harmonious designs. Now is this not a wild, fanciful, and almost insane statement of Haeckel's? Is it not ten times more absurd than theosophical teachings? We begin truly with Parabrahmam and Mulaprakriti and Hosts of Dhyan Chohans, but we allege design in everything, and our Parabrahmam is no more vague than motion or force, pets of science.

So I have found that a slight examination of this question reveals science as more vague than Theosophy is in anything. But some may say results are not indefinite. The same is said by us, the results to be reached by following the doctrines of theosophy, relating, as they do, to our real life, will be as definite, as visible, as important as any that science can point to.

Path, November, 1890Eusebio Urban



THE impassable gulf between mind and matter discovered by modern science is a logical result of the present methods of so-called scientific investigation. These methods are analytical and hypothetical, and the results arrived at are necessarily tentative and incomplete. Even the so-called "Synthetic Philosophy" of Spencer is, at best, an effort to grasp the entire method and modulus of nature within one of its processes only. The aim is at synthesis, but it can hardly deserve the name of philosophy, for it is purely speculative and hypothetical. It is as though the physiologist undertook to study the function of respiration in man through the single process of expiration, ignoring the fact that every expiratory act must be supplemented by inspiration or respiration cease altogether.

Taking, therefore, the facts of experience derived from the phenomena of nature and viewing both cosmic and organic processes purely from their objective side, the "missing links," ''impassable gulfs, and "unthinkable gaps'' occur constantly. Not so in Occult Science. So far as the science of occultism is concerned, it is both experimental and analytical, but it acknowledges no "missing links," "impassable gulfs," or "unthinkable gaps," because it finds none. Back of occult science there lies a complete and all-embracing Philosophy. This philosophy is not simply synthetical in its methods, for the simplest as the wildest hypothesis can claim that much; but it is synthesis itself. It regards Nature as one complete whole, and so the student of occultism may stand at either point of observation. He may from the stand-point of Nature's wholeness


and completeness follow the process of segregation and differentiation to the minutest atom conditioned in space and time; or, from the phenomenal display of the atom, he may reach forward and upward till the atom becomes an integral part of cosmos, involved in the universal harmony of creation. The modern scientist may do this incidentally or empirically, but the occultist does it systematically and habitually, and hence philosophically. The modern scientist is confessedly and boastfully agnostic. The occultist is reverently and progressively gnostic.

Modern science recognizes matter as "living" and "dead," "organic" and "inorganic," and "Life" as merely a phenomenon of matter. Occult science recognizes, "foremost of all, the postulate that there is no such thing in Nature as inorganic substances or bodies. Stones, minerals, rocks, and even chemical 'atoms' are simply organic units in profound lethargy. Their coma has an end, and their inertia becomes activity." (Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 626 fn.) Occultism recognizes ONE UNIVERSAL, ALL-PERVADING LIFE. Modern science recognizes life as a special phenomenon of matter, a mere transient manifestation due to temporary conditions. Even logic and analogy ought to have taught us better, for the simple reason that so-called "inorganic" or "dead" matter constantly becomes organic and living, while matter from the organic plane is continually being reduced to the inorganic. How rational and justifiable, then, to suppose that the capacity or "potency" of life is latent in all matter!

The "elements," "atoms," and "molecules" of modern science, partly physical and partly metaphysical, though altogether hypothetical, are, nevertheless, seldom philosophical, for the simple reason that they are regarded solely as phenomenal. The Law of Avogadro involved a generalization as to physical structure and number, and the later experiments of Prof. Neumann deduced the same law mathematically from the first principles of the mechanical theory of gases, but it remained for Prof. Crookes to perceive the philosophical necessity of a primordial substratum, protyle, and so, as pointed


out in the Secret Doctrine, to lay the foundations of "Metachemistry"; in other words, a complete philosophy of physics and chemistry that shall take the place of mere hypothesis and empiricism, if one or two generalizations deduced as logical or mathematical necessities from the phenomena of physics and chemistry have been able to work such revolutions in the old chemistry, what may we not expect from a complete synthesis that shall grasp universals by a law that compasses the whole domain of matter? And yet this complete synthesis has been in the possession of the true occultist for ages. Glimpses of this philosophy have been sufficient to give to minds like Kepler, Descartes, Leibnitz, Kant, Schopenhauer, and, lastly, to Prof. Crookes, ideas that claimed and held the interested attention of the scientific world. While, at certain points, such writers supplement and corroborate each other, neither anywhere nor altogether do they reveal the complete synthesis, for none of them possessed it, and yet it has all along existed.

"Let the reader remember these 'Monad's of Leibnitz, every one of which is a living mirror of the universe, every monad reflecting every other, and compare this view and definition with certain Sanskrit stanzas (Slokas) translated by Sir William Jones, in which it is said that the creative source of the Divine Mind, . . . 'Hidden in a veil of thick darkness, formed mirrors of the atoms of the world, and cast reflection from its own face on every atom'."―S.D., Vol. 1, p. 623.

It may be humiliating to "Modern Exact Science" and repugnant to the whole of Christendom to have to admit that the Pagans whom they have despised, and the "Heathen Scriptures" they long ridiculed or ignored, nevertheless possess a fund of wisdom never dreamed of under Western skies. They have the lesson, however, to learn, that Science by no means originated in, nor is it confined to, the West, nor are superstition and ignorance confined to the East.

It can easily be shown that every real discovery and every important advancement in modern science have already been anticipated centuries ago by ancient science and philosophy. It is true that these ancient doctrines have been embodied in


unknown languages and symbols, and recorded in books inaccessible to western minds till a very recent date. Far beyond all this inaccessibility, however, as a cause preventing these old truths from reaching modern times, has been the prejudice, the scorn and contempt of ancient learning manifested by the leaders of modern thought.

Nor is the lesson yet learned that bigotry and scorn are never the mark of wisdom or the harbingers of learning; for still, with comparatively few exceptions, any claim or discussion of these ancient doctrines is met with contempt and scorn. The record has, however, been at least outlined and presented to the world. As the authors of the Secret Doctrine have remarked, these doctrines may not be largely accepted by the present generation, but during the twentieth century they will become known and appreciated.

The scope and bearing of philosophy itself are hardly yet appreciated by modern thought, because of its materialistic tendency. A complete science of metaphysics and a complete philosophy of science are not yet even conceived of as possible; hence the ancient wisdom by its very vastness has escaped recognition in modern times. That the authors of ancient wisdom have spoken from at least two whole planes of conscious experience beyond that of our every-day "sense-perception" is to us inconceivable, and yet such is the fact; and why should the modern advocate of evolution be shocked and staggered by such a disclosure? It but justifies his hypothesis and extends its theatre. Is it because the present custodians of this ancient learning do not scramble for recognition on the stock exchange, and enter into competition in the marts of the world? If the practical outcome of such competition needed illustration, Mr. Keely might serve as an example. The discoveries of the age are already whole centuries in advance of its ethical culture, and the knowledge that should place still further power in the hands of a few individuals whose ethical code is below, rather than above, that of the ignorant, toiling, suffering masses, could only minister to anarchy and increase oppression. On these higher planes of consciousness the law of prog-


ress is absolute; knowledge and power go hand in hand with beneficence to man, not alone to the individual possessors of wisdom, but to the whole human race. The custodians of the higher knowledge are equally by both motive and development almoners of the divine. These are the very conditions of the higher consciousness referred to. The synthesis of occult science becomes, therefore, the higher synthesis of the faculties of man. What matter, therefore, if the ignorant shall scout its very existence, or treat it with ridicule and contempt? Those who know of its existence and who have learned something of its scope and nature can, in their turn, afford to smile, but with pity and sorrow at the willing bondage to ignorance and misery that scorns enlightenment and closes its eyes to the plainest truths of experience.

Leaving, for the present, the field of physics and cosmogenesis, it may be profitable to consider some of the applications of these doctrines to the functions and life of man.

The intellect derived from philosophy
is similar to a charioteer; for it
is present with our desires, and
always conducts them to the beautiful.



"In reality, as Occult philosophy teaches us, everything which changes is organic; it has the life principle in it, and it has all the potentiality of the higher lives. If, as we say, all in nature is an aspect of the one element, and life is universal, how can there be such a thing as an inorganic atom!"1 Man is a perfected animal, but before he could have reached perfection even on the animal plane, there must have dawned upon him the light of a higher plane. Only the perfected animal can cross the threshold of the next higher, or the human plane, and as he does so there shines upon him the ray from the suprahuman plane. Therefore, as the dawn of humanity illumines the animal plane, and as a guiding star lures the Monad to higher consciousness, so the dawn of divinity illumines the

1 Quotations are from the Secret Doctrine and other writings of H. P. Blavatsky.


human plane, luring the monad to the supra-human plane of consciousness. This is neither more nor less than the philosophical and metaphysical aspect of the law of evolution. Man has not one principle more than the tiniest insect; he is, however, "the vehicle of a fully developed Monad, self-conscious and deliberately following its own line of progress, whereas in the insect, and even the higher animal, the higher triad of principles is absolutely dormant." The original Monad has, therefore, locked within it the potentiality of divinity. It is plainly, therefore, a misnomer to call that process of thought a "Synthetic Philosophy" that deals only with phenomena and ends with matter on the physical plane. These two generalizations of Occult philosophy, endowing every atom with the potentiality of life, and regarding every insect or animal as already possessing the potentialities of the higher planes though these powers are yet dormant, add to the ordinary Spencerian theory of evolution precisely that element that it lacks, viz, the metaphysical and philosophical; and, thus endowed, the theory becomes synthetical.

The Monad, then, is essentially and potentially the same in the lowest vegetable organism, up through all forms and gradations of animal life to man, and beyond. There is a gradual unfolding of its potentialities from "Monera" to man, and there are two whole planes of consciousness, the sixth and the seventh "senses," not yet unfolded to the average humanity. Every monad that is enclosed in a form, and hence limited by matter, becomes conscious on its own plane and in its own degree. Consciousness, therefore, no less than sensitiveness, belongs to plants as well as to animals. Self-consciousness belongs to man, because, while embodied in a form, the higher triad of principles, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, is no longer dormant, but active. This activity is, however, far from being fully developed. When this activity has become fully developed, man will already have become conscious on a still higher plane, endowed with the sixth and the opening of the seventh sense, and will have become a "god" in the sense given to that term by Plato and his followers.


In thus giving this larger and completer meaning to the law of evolution, the Occult philosophy entirely eliminates the "missing links" of modern science, and, by giving to man a glimpse of his nature and destiny, not only points out the line of the higher evolution, but puts him in possession of the means of achieving it.

The "atoms" and "monads" of the Secret Doctrine are very different from the atoms and molecules of modern science. To the latter these are mere particles of matter endowed with blind force: to the former, they are the "dark nucleoles," and potentially "Gods," conscious and intelligent from their primeval embodiment at the beginning of differentiation in the dawn of the Manvantara. There are no longer any hard and fast lines between the "organic" and the "inorganic"; between the "living" and "dead" matter. Every atom is endowed with and moved by intelligence, and is conscious in its own degree, on its own plane of development. This is a glimpse of the One Life that―

Runs through all time, extends through all extent,
Lives undivided, operates unspent.

It may be conceived that the "Ego" in man is a monad that has gathered to itself innumerable experiences through aeons of time, slowly unfolding its latent potencies through plane after plane of matter. It is hence called the "eternal pilgrim."

The Manasic, or mind principle, is cosmic and universal. It is the creator of all forms, and the basis of all law in nature. Not so with consciousness. Consciousness is a condition of the monad as the result of embodiment in matter and the dwelling in a physical form. Self-consciousness, which from the animal plane looking upward is the beginning of perfection, from the divine plane looking downward is the perfection of selfishness and the curse of separateness. It is the "world of illusion" that man has created for himself. "Maya is the perceptive faculty of every Ego which considers itself a Unit, separate from and independent of the One Infinite and Eternal Sat or "be-ness." The "eternal pilgrim" must therefore mount higher, and flee from the plane of self-consciousness it has struggled so hard to reach.


The complex structure that we call "Man" is made up of a congeries of almost innumerable "Lives." Not only every microscopic cell of which the tissues are composed, but the molecules and atoms of which these cells are composed, are permeated with the essence of the "One Life." Every so-called organic cell is known to have its nucleus, a center of finer or more sensitive matter. The nutritive, all the formative and functional processes consist of flux and re-flux, of inspiration and expiration, to and from the nucleus.

The nucleus is therefore in its own degree and after its kind a "monad" imprisoned in a "form." Every microscopic cell, therefore, has a consciousness and an intelligence of its own, and man thus consists of innumerable "lives." This is but physiological synthesis, logically deduced no less from the known facts in physiology and histology than the logical sequence of the philosophy of occultism. Health of the body as a whole depends on the integrity of all its parts, and more especially upon their harmonious association and cooperation. A diseased tissue is one in which a group of individual cells refuse to cooperate, and wherein is set up discordant action, using less or claiming more than their due share of food or energy. Disease of the very tissue of man’s body is neither more nor less than the "sin of separateness." Moreover, the grouping of cells is upon the principle of hierarchies. Smaller groups are subordinate to larger congeries, and these again are subordinate to larger, or to the whole. Every microscopic cell therefore typifies and epitomizes man, as man is an epitome of the Universe. As already remarked, the "Eternal Pilgrim," the Alter-Ego in man, is a monad progressing through the ages. By right and by endowment the ego is king in the domain of man’s bodily life. It descended into matter in the cosmic process till it reached the mineral plane, and then journeyed upward through the "three kingdoms" till it reached the human plane. The elements of its being, like the cells and molecules of man’s body, are groupings of structures accessory or subordinate to it. The human monad or Ego is therefore akin to all below it and heir to all above it, linked by indissoluble bonds


to spirit and matter, "God" and "Nature." The attributes that it gathers, and the faculties that it unfolds, are but the latent and dormant potentialities awaking to conscious life. The tissue cells constitute man’s bodily structure, but the order in which they are arranged, the principle upon which they are grouped, constituting the human form, is not simply an evolved shape from the lower animal plane, but an involved principle from a higher plane, an older world, viz, the "Lunar Pitris." "Hanuman the Monkey" antedates Darwin’s "missing link" by thousands of millenniums. So also the Manasic, or mind element, with its cosmic and infinite potentialities, is not merely the developed "instinct" of the animal. Mind is the latent or active potentiality of Cosmic Ideation, the essence of every form, the basis of every law, the potency of every principle in the universe. Human thought is the reflection or reproduction in the realm of man’s consciousness of these forms, laws, and principles. Hence man senses and apprehends nature just as nature unfolds in him. When, therefore, the Monad has passed through the form of the animal ego, involved and unfolded the human form, the higher triad of principles awakens from the sleep of ages and over-shadowed by the "Manasa-putra" and built into its essence and substance. How could man epitomize Cosmos if he did not touch it at every point and involve it in every principle? If man’s being is woven in the web of destiny, his potencies and possibilities take hold of divinity as the woof and pattern of his boundless life. Why, then, should he grow weary or disheartened? Alas! why should he be degraded, this heir of all things!

The peculiarity also of this theology, and in which its transcendency consists, is this, that it does not consider the highest God to be the principle of beings, but the principle of principles, i.e. of deiform processions from itself, all which are eternally rooted in the unfathomable depths of the immensely great source of their existence, and of which they may be called supersensuous ramifications and superluminous blossoms.

―Thomas Taylor, Introduction to Mystical Hymns of Orpheus



It has often been thought a strange thing that there are no dogmas and no creed in Theosophy or Occultism. Is theosophy a religion? is often asked. No, it is religion. Is it a philosophy? No, it is philosophy. Is it a science? No, it is science. If a consensus of religion, philosophy, and science is possible, and if it has ever been reached in human thought, that thought must long since have passed the boundaries of all creeds and ceased to dogmatize. Hence comes the difficulty in answering questions. No proposition stands apart or can be taken separately without limiting and often distorting its meaning. Every proposition has to be considered and held as subservient to the synthetic whole. Really intelligent people, capable of correct reasoning, often lack sufficient interest to endeavor to apprehend the universality of these principles. They expect, where they have any interest at all in the subject, to be told "all about it" in an hours conversation, or to learn it from a column in some newspaper; all about man, all about Nature, all about Deity; and then either to reject it or to make it a part of their previous creed. These are really no wiser than the penny-a-liner who catches some point and turns it into ridicule, or makes it a butt for coarse jest or silly sarcasm, and then complacently imagines that he has demolished the whole structure! If such persons were for one moment placed face to face with their own folly, they would be amazed. The most profound thinker and the most correct reasoner might well afford to devote a life-time to the apprehension of the philosophy of occultism, and other life-times to mastering the scientific details, while at the same time his ethics and his religious life are made consistent with the principle of altruism and the Brotherhood of man. If this be regarded as too hard a task, it is, nevertheless, the line of the higher evolution of man, and, soon or late, every soul must follow it, retrograde, or cease to be.

Man is but a link in an endless chain of being; a sequence of a past eternity of causes and processes; a potentiality born into time, but spanning two eternities, his past and his future,


and in his consciousness these are all one, Duration, the ever-present. In a former article man was shown to be a series of almost innumerable "Lives," and these lives, these living entities called "cells," were shown to be associated together on the principle of hierarchies, grouped according to rank and order, service and development, and this was shown to be the "physical synthesis" of man, and the organic synthesis as well. Disease was also shown to be the organic nutritive, or physiological "sin of separateness." Every department of man's being, every organ and cell of his body, was also shown to possess a consciousness and an intelligence of its own, held, however, subordinate to the whole. In health every action is synchronous and rhythmical, however varied and expanded, however intense and comprehensive. Enough is already known in modern physics to justify all these statements, at least by analogy. The principle of electrical induction and vibration, the quantitative and qualitative transmission of vibration and its exact registration, and their application to telegraphy, the telephone, and the phonograph, have upset all previous theories of physics and physiology. "A metallic plate, for instance, can that talk like a human being? Yea or nay? Mr. Bouillard―and he was no common man―said No; to accept such a fact were to upset all our notions of physiology. So said Mr. Bouillard, right in the face of Edison's phonograph in full Academy, and he throttled the luckless interpreter of the famous American inventor, accusing it of ventriloquism."2

Occultism teaches that the Ego both precedes and survives the physical body. The phenomena of man’s life and the process of his thought can be apprehended and explained on no other theory. Modern physiology teaches in detail certain facts regarding the life of man. It, moreover, groups these facts and deduces certain so-called principles and laws, but such a thing as a synthesis of the whole man is seldom even attempted. "Psychology" is mere empiricism, represented by disjointed facts, and these, of course, but little understood, and more often misinterpreted.

2 Dr. J. Oehorowicz, "Mental Suggestion," p. 291.


Ask the modern physiologist if man can think when unconscious, and he will answer No; and if asked if man can be conscious and not think, he will as readily answer No. Both answers will be based on what is known, or supposed to be known, of memory. The idea that the real man, the Ego, is always conscious on some plane, and that it "thinks," as we ordinarily use the term, only on the lower plane through the physical brain, in terms of extension and duration, or space and time, is seldom in the least apprehended by the modern physiologist. If, however, one grasps the idea of the ego as the real man dwelling in the physical body and using it as its instrument through which it is related to space and time, perception, sensation, thought, and feeling, the gaps in physiology and psychology begin to disappear. Here again it should be particularly borne in mind that this doctrine of the ego must be considered in the light of the complete synthesis of occultism, and just to the extent that this is intelligently done will the significance of the ego appear.

The brief and concise outline of the philosophy of occultism given in the Introduction to the Secret Doctrine is therefore very significant, and the student who desires to apprehend that which follows in these two large volumes ought to study this outline very carefully. No subsequent proposition, no principle in the life of man, can be correctly understood apart from it. The subject-matter following is necessarily fragmentary, but the outline is both inclusive and philosophical, and if one reasons logically and follows the plainest analogies he can never go far astray. The relation of mind to brain, of thought to consciousness, of life to matter, and of man to Nature and to Deity, is there clearly defined; not, indeed, in all its details, but in a philosophical modulus, to be worked out in reason and in life. The all-pervading Life, the cyclic or periodical movements, the periods of action and of repose, and the intimate relations and inter-dependences of all things apply to Cosmos, and equally to every atom in its vast embrace.

Students sometimes complain that they cannot understand, that the subject is so vast, and so deep and intricate, and not


made clear. It is because they do not realize what they have undertaken. Occultism can neither be taught nor learned in "a few easy lessons." The "object lessons" sometimes given by H.P.B., almost always misunderstood and misapplied, though often explained at the time, served as often to excite vulgar curiosity and personal abuse as to arrest attention and study. If, before the advent of the T.S. in the face of the creeds of Christendom, the materialism of science, the indifferences and supercilious scorn of Agnosticism, and the babel of spiritualism, it had been proposed to begin at the foundations and reconstruct our entire knowledge of Nature and of man; to show the unity and the foundations of the world’s religions; to eliminate from science all its "missing links"; to make Agnosticism gnostic; and to place the science of psychology and the nature and laws of mind and soul over against "Mediumship"; it would have been held as an herculean task, and declared impossible of accomplishment. Now that the thing has virtually been accomplished and this body of knowledge presented to the world, people think it strange that they cannot compass it all, as the poet Burns is said to have written some of his shorter poems, "while standing on one leg!"

Again, people complain at the unfamiliar terms and the strange words imported from foreign languages. Yet if one were to undertake the study of physics, chemistry, music, or medicine, quite as great obstacles have to be overcome. Is it a strange thing, then, that the science that includes all these, and undertakes to give a synthesis of the whole realm of Nature and of life, should have its own nomenclature?

Beyond all these necessary and natural obstacles, there is another, viz., that contentious spirit that disputes and opposes every point before it is fairly stated or understood. Suppose one ignorant of mathematics were to proceed in the same manner and say, "I don't like that proposition," "I don't see why they turn a six upside down to make a nine," "Why don't two and two make five?", and so on, how long would it take such a one to learn mathematics? In the study of the Secret Doctrine it is not a matter of likes or dislikes, of belief or unbelief,


but solely a matter of intelligence and understanding. He who acknowledges his ignorance and yet is unwilling to lay aside his likes and dislikes, and even his creeds and dogmas, for the time, in order to see what is presented in its own light and purely on its merits, has neither need nor use for the Secret Doctrine. Even where a greater number of propositions are accepted or "believed" and a few are rejected, the synthetic whole is entirely lost sight of. But, says some one, this is a plea for blind credulity, and an attempt to bind the mind and the conscience of man to a blind acceptance of these doctrines. No one but the ignorant or the dishonest can make such an assertion in the face of the facts. Listen to the following from p. xix, Introduction to the Secret Doctrine. "It is above everything important to keep in mind that no theosophical book acquires the least additional value from pretended authority." If that be advocating blind credulity, let the enemies of the T.S. make the most of it. If any authority pertains to the Secret Doctrine, it must be sought inside, not outside. It must rest on its comprehensiveness, its completeness, its continuity and reasonableness; in other words, on its philosophical synthesis, a thing missed alike by the superficial and the contentious, by the indolent, the superstitious, and the dogmatic.

O wise man: you have asked rightly. Now listen carefully. The illusive fancies arising from error are not conclusive.

The great and peaceful ones live regenerating the world like the coming of spring, and after having themselves crossed the ocean of embodied existence, help those who try to do the same thing, without personal motives.

Crest Jewel of Wisdom


In the foregoing articles, necessarily brief and fragmentary, a few points have been given to show the general bearing of the Secret Doctrine on all problems in Nature and in Life.

Synthesis is the very essence of philosophy―"the combination of separate elements of thought into a whole"―the opposite of analysis, and analysis is the very essence of science.

In the "Outline of the Secret Doctrine" by "C.J.," now running through the pages of Lucifer, this philosophy or synthesis


of the whole is made very clear.

There have been many philosophisers in modern times, but there can be but one philosophy, one synthesis of the whole of Eternal Nature. With the single exception of the writings of Plato, no one in modern times had given to the Western world any approximation to a complete philosophy, previous to the appearance of H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine. The writings of Plato are carefully veiled in the symbolical language of initiation. The Secret Doctrine, coming more than two millenniums later, and in an age of so-called Science, is addressed to the Scientific thought of the age, and hence considers the whole subject largely from the stand-point of Science. The present age is as deficient in philosophy as was the age of Plato in knowledge of science. It follows, therefore, that while the Secret Doctrine itself apprehends equally both philosophy and science, in addressing itself to the thought of an age it must recognize here, as it does everywhere, the law of cycles that rules in the intellectual development of a race no less than in the revolutions of suns and worlds, and so address the times from that plane of thought that is in the ascendant. It is just because analytical thought is in the ascendant, because it is the thought-form of the age, that the great majority of readers are likely to overlook the broad synthesis and so miss the philosophy of the Secret Doctrine. The only object of these brief and fragmentary papers has been to call attention to this point.

We are now in a transition period, and in the approaching twentieth century there will be a revival of genuine philosophy, and the Secret Doctrine will be the basis of the "New Philosophy." Science today, in the persons of such advanced students as Keely, Crookes, Lodge, Richardson, and many others, already treads so close to the borders of occult philosophy that it will not be possible to prevent the new age from entering the occult realm. H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine is a storehouse of scientific facts, but this is not its chief value. These facts are placed, approximately at least, in such relation to the synthesis or philosophy of occultism as to render comparatively


easy the task of the student who is in search of real knowledge, and to further his progress beyond all preconception, provided he is teachable, in earnest, and intelligent. Nowhere else in English literature is the Law of Evolution given such sweep and swing. It reminds one of the ceaseless under-tone of the deep sea, and seems to view our Earth in all its changes "from the birth of time to the crack of doom." It follows man in his triple evolution, physical, mental, and spiritual, throughout the perfect circle of his boundless life. Darwinism had reached its limits and a rebound. Man is indeed evolved from lower forms. But which man? the physical? the psychical? the intellectual? or the spiritual? The Secret Doctrine points where the lines of evolution and involution meet; where matter and spirit clasp hands; and where the rising animal stands face to face with the fallen god; for all natures meet and mingle in man.

Judge no proposition of the Secret Doctrine as though it stood alone, for not one stands alone. Not "independence" here more than with the units that constitute Humanity. It is interdependence everywhere; in nature, as in life.

Even members of the T.S. have often wondered why H.P.B. and others well known in the Society lay so much stress on doctrines like Karma and Reincarnation. It is not alone because these doctrines are easily apprehended and beneficent to individuals, not only because they furnish, as they necessarily do, a solid foundation for ethics, or all human conduct, but because they are the very key-notes of the higher evolution of man. Without Karma and Reincarnation evolution is but a fragment; a process whose beginnings are unknown, and whose outcome cannot be discerned; a glimpse of what might be; a hope of what should be. But in the light of Karma and Reincarnation evolution becomes the logic of what must be. The links in the chain of being are all filled in, and the circles of reason and of life are complete. Karma gives the eternal law of action, and Reincarnation furnishes the boundless field for its display. Thousands of persons can understand these two principles, apply them as a basis of conduct, and weave them into the fabric of their lives, who may not be able to grasp the


complete synthesis of that endless evolution of which these doctrines form so important a part. In thus affording even the superficial thinker and the weak or illogical reasoner a perfect basis for ethics and an unerring guide in life, Theosophy is building toward the future realization of the Universal Brotherhood and the higher evolution of man. But few in this generation realize the work that is thus undertaken, or how much has already been accomplished. The obscurity of the present age in regard to genuine philosophical thought is nowhere more apparent than in the manner in which opposition has been waged toward these doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation. In the seventeen years since the Theosophical movement has been before the world there has not appeared, from any source, a serious and logical attempt to discredit these doctrines from a philosophical basis. There have been denial, ridicule, and denunciation ad nauseum. There could be no discussion from such a basis, for from the very beginning these doctrines have been put forth and advocated from the logical and dispassionate plane of philosophy. Ridicule is both unanswerable and unworthy of answer. It is not the argument, but the atmosphere of weak minds, born of prejudice and ignorance.

The synthesis of occultism is therefore the philosophy of Nature and of Life; the full―or free―truth that apprehends every scientific fact in the light of the unerring processes of Eternal Nature.

The time must presently come when the really advanced thinkers of the age will be compelled to lay by their indifference, and their scorn and conceit, and follow the lines of philosophical investigation laid down in the Secret Doctrine. Very few seem yet to have realized how ample are these resources, because it involves a process of thought almost unknown to the present age of empiricism and induction. It is a revelation from archaic ages, indestructible and eternal, yet capable of being obscured and lost; capable of being again and again reborn, or like man himself―reincarnated.

"He who lives in one color of the rainbow is blind to the


rest. Live in the Light diffused through the entire arc, and you will know it all."―The Path.

"He who knows not the common things of life is a beast among men. He who knows only the common things of life is a man among beasts. He who knows all that can be learned by diligent inquiry is a god among men."―Plato.

Path, November, 1891,
February, March, May, 1892


I HAVE been requested to speak on the subject of Universal Brotherhood as a fact in nature; not as a theory, not as a Utopian dream which can never be realized; not as a fact in society, not as a fact in government, but as a fact in nature. That is, that Universal Brotherhood is an actual thing, whether it is recognized or whether it is not. Christian priests have claimed for some years, without right, that Christianity introduced the idea of Universal Brotherhood. The reason the claim was made, I suppose, was because those who made it did not know that other religions at other times had the same doctrine. It is found in the Buddhist scriptures, it is found in the Chinese books, it is found in the Parsee books, it is found everywhere in the history of the world, long before the first year of the Christian Era began. So it is not a special idea from the Christian Scriptures. Every nation, then, every civilization has brought forward this doctrine, and the facts of history show us that, more than at any other time, the last eighteen hundred years have seen this doctrine violated in society, in government, and in nations. So that at last men have come to say, "Universal Brotherhood is very beautiful; it is something that we all desire, but it is impossible to realize." With one word they declare the noble doctrine, and with the other they deny the possibility of its ever being realized.

Why is this the case? Why is it that although Christianity and other religions have brought forward this doctrine, it has been violated? We cannot deny that it has been. The history of even the last few years proves it. The history of the last forty years in America, without going any farther back, proves that this doctrine has been violated in the West. How could it have been a doctrine that the Americans believed in when they had slavery in their midst? How could

NOTE―Address given by Wm. Q. Judge at the Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893.


it have been believed in by the French when they stretched out their hand and demanded of Siam, a weak and powerless nation, that it must give up to them its own property? How could it have been believed in by the Germans and French when they constructed engines of war and went into battle and destroyed each other by the thousand? Does not the American War of the Rebellion and the vast amount of treasure wasted and the thousands slain in that civil war prove conclusively that Universal Brotherhood has not been practiced? It has been professed but not practiced. Now, go further back, go back in the history of the nations in Europe, without going to any other country, and what do you find? Do you not find sectarian prejudice? Their view of Universal Brotherhood has for years prevented the progress of science. Is it not true that only since science became materialized―a most remarkable thing, but it is true―I insist that since then only science has made progress. If Universal Brotherhood had been a belief of this nation, then we would not have had the burning of witches in America; nor in other countries would we have had the burning of Catholics by Protestants, nor the burning of Protestants by Catholics; we would not have had the persecutions that have stained the pages of history; and yet we have always claimed that we have had Universal Brotherhood. We have had the theory but not the practice. Now, then, has there not been something wanting? It is a beautiful doctrine. It is the only doctrine of the Theosophical Society, the only thing that any man is asked by us to subscribe to. What, then, is the matter with it? Why so many men who say that it is beautiful, but it is impossible, simply impossible? There are even some branches of the Christian church which say, "There is Jesus; why, the altruistic, noble teachings of Christ are beautiful; but no State could live three months under such doctrine." The reason that it has not prevailed in practice is that it has been denied in the heart.

The Theosophist who knows anything about life insists that Universal Brotherhood is not a mere theory. It is a fact,


a living ever present fact, from which no nation can hope to escape; no man can escape from it, and every man who violates it violates a law, violates the greatest law of nature, which will react upon him and make him suffer. And that is why we have had suffering; that is why you have in Chicago, in London, in New York, in Berlin, in all the great cities of the world, masses of people who are claiming with violence what they call their rights and saying they must have them, and that another class is oppressing them; and danger lurks in every corner because men are insisting on Universal Brotherhood. This noble doctrine has already become a danger. The reason of all these things is that men have denied the fact. Now, we propose to show you, if we can, that it is a fact.

If you will notice you will find that when it rains over a certain area vast numbers of men are affected similarly. The rain has to fall on the fields in order that the harvest may grow, so that afterwards it may be gathered, and all the farmers are affected together by the rain. If you examine society you will find that at the same hour every day almost all the people are doing exactly the same thing. At a certain hour in the morning thousands of your citizens are going down that railway or rush all together to catch the train and at another few moments afterward they are rushing out of the train to get to business, all doing the same thing, one common thought inspiring them. That is one of the proofs―a small one―in social and business life that they are affected together, they are all united. Then in the evening they will come home at the same hour, and if you could see, at the same hour you would see them all eating together and digesting together, and then later on they are all lying down together at the same hour. Are they not united even in their social life? Brothers even in that? And what do we see here in business? Lately I have felt it; every man has felt it, and many women; doubtless all have felt it; lately we have had a financial crisis, perhaps have it yet, in which dollars have been scarce, during which men have discovered that there


are only just so many dollars and half dollars to each person in the country, and we have altogether been suffering from that panic all over this vast country. Suffering, why? Because commercially we are united and cannot get out of it. China even is affected by it, and Japan. India, they say, was the cause of it. Some men say the reason for this panic is that India put the price of rupees down, and we who produce so much silver began to feel it. I do not know that that is the reason. But I think there is another cause. I think the American nation is so fond of luxury, so fond of fine clothes, so fond of having a heap of money, that it has gone too far and there was bound to come a reaction, because it is all united together with the whole world, and when it spread itself out too far the slightest touch broke the fabric. That is the reason, and that is another proof of Universal Brotherhood. We are all united, not only with each other here, but with the entire world.

Now, then, go further still materially and you find that all men are alike. We have the same sort of bodies, a little different perhaps in height, weight, and extension, but as human beings we are all alike, all the same color in one country, all the same shape in any country, so that as mere bodies of flesh they are united, they are the same. We know every man and woman has exuding from him or her what is called perspiration. The doctors will tell you there is a finer perspiration you cannot see, the invisible perspiration which goes out a short distance around about us; we know it comes out from every person, and the emanations of each person are affecting every other person, being interchanged always. All those in this room are being affected by these emanations and also by the ideas of each other, and the ideas of the speakers speaking to you. So it is in every direction; wherever you go, wherever you look, we are united; in whatever plane, the plane of mind as well as the plane of the body; the plane of the emotions, of the spirit, what not, we are all united, and it is a fact from which we cannot escape. Now, then, further: science is beginning to admit what the old


Theosophists have always said, that there is going on every minute in every person a death, a dissolution, a disappearance. It used to be taught and thought in the West that we could see matter, that this table is made of matter. It is admitted today by your best scientific men in every part of Western civilization that you do not see matter at all; it is only the phenomena of matter we see; and it is my senses which enable me to perceive these phenomena. It is not matter at all, and so we do not see matter. Now admitting that, they go further and say there is a constant change in matter so-called; that is, this table is in motion. This is not a purely Theosophical theory. Go to any doctor of Physics and he will admit to you as I have stated it. This table is in motion; every molecule is separate from every other, and there is space between them, and they are moving. So it is with every man; he is made of atoms and they are in motion. Then how is it we remain the same size and weight nearly always from the moment of maturity until death? We eat tons of meat and vegetables but remain the same. It is not because of the things you have eaten. In addition to that the atoms are alive, constantly moving, coming and going from one person to another; and this is the modern doctrine today as well as it was the doctrine of ancient India. They call it the momentary dissolution of atoms; that is to say, to put it in another way, I am losing, all of you in this room are losing, a certain number of atoms, but they are being replaced by other atoms. Now, where do these other atoms come from? Do they not come from the people in this room? These atoms help to rebuild your body as well as does the food you eat. And we are exuding atoms from our minds, and we are receiving into ourselves the atoms other men have used. For, remember, science teaches you, and Theosophy has always insisted, that matter is invisible before it is turned into this combination of the life cycle, which makes it visible, makes it tangible to us. So these atoms leave us in a stream and rush into other people. And therefore the atoms of good men go into bad men, the atoms impressed by bad men go into good


men, and vice versâ. In that way as well as others we are affecting everybody in this world; and the people in Chicago who are living mean, selfish lives are impressing these invisible atoms with mean and selfish characters, and these mean and selfish atoms will be distributed by other men, and by you again to your and their detriment. That is another phase of Universal Brotherhood. It teaches us to be careful to see that we use and keep the atoms in our charge in such a condition that they shall benefit others to whom they shall go.

There is another view of Universal Brotherhood, and I don't pretend to exhaust the argument on this point, for I have not the time nor force to state all that is put forward in the Theosophical books and literature and thought. That is, that there is in this world an actual Universal Brotherhood of men and women, of souls, a brotherhood of beings who practice Universal Brotherhood by always trying to influence the souls of men for their good. I bring to you the message of these men; I bring to you the words of that brotherhood. Why will you longer call yourselves miserable men and women who are willing to go to a Heaven where you will do nothing? Do you not like to be gods? Do you not want to be gods? I hear some men say, "What, a god! Impossible!" Perhaps they do not like the responsibility. Why, when you get to that position you will understand the responsibility. This actual Brotherhood of living men says, Why, men of the West, why will you so long refuse to believe you are gods? We are your brothers and we are gods with you. Be then as gods! Believe that you are gods, and then, after experience and attainment, you will have a place consciously in the great Brotherhood which governs the entire world, but cannot go against the law. This great Brotherhood of living men, living souls, would, if they could, alter the face of civilization; they would, if they could, come down and make saints of every one of you; but evolution is the law and they cannot violate it; they must wait for you. And why will you so long be satisfied to believe that you are born in original sin and cannot escape? I do not believe in any such doctrine as that. I do not believe I was


born in original sin. I believe that I am pretty bad, but that potentially I am a god, and I propose to take the inheritance if it is possible. For what purpose? So that I may help all the rest to do the same thing, for that is the law of Universal Brotherhood; and the Theosophical Society wishes to enforce it on the West, to make it see this great truth, that we are as gods, and are only prevented from being so in fact by our own insanity, ignorance, and fear to take the position.

So, then, we insist that Universal Brotherhood is a fact in nature. It is a fact for the lowest part of nature; for the animal kingdom, for the vegetable kingdom, and the mineral kingdom. We are all atoms, obeying the law together. Our denying it does not disprove it. It simply puts off the day of reward and keeps us miserable, poor, and selfish. Why, just think of it! If all in Chicago, in the United States, would act as Jesus has said, as Buddha has said, as Confucius said, as all the great ethical teachers of the world have said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," would there be any necessity for legal measures and policemen with clubs in this park as you had them the other day? No, I think there would be no necessity, and that is what one of this great Brotherhood has said. He said all the troubles of the world would disappear in a moment if men would only do one-quarter of what they could and what they ought. It is not God who is to damn you to death, to misery. It is yourself. And the Theosophical Society desires above all things, not that you should understand spiritualism, not that wonderful occult works should be performed, but to understand the constitution of matter and of Life as they are, which we can never understand but by practicing right ethics. Live with each other as brothers; for the misery and the trouble of the world are of more importance than all the scientific progress that may be imagined. I conclude by calling upon you by all that humanity holds dear to remember what I say, and whether Christians, Atheists, Jews, Pagans, Heathen, or Theosophists, try to practice Universal Brotherhood, which is the universal duty of all men.


MR. CHAIRMAN; brothers and sisters; men and women; members of the Parliament of Religions: The Theosophical Society has been presenting to you but one-half of its work, but one-half of that which it has to present to the world. This is the Parliament of Religions. This is a Parliament of the Religions of the day. Theosophy is not only a religion; it is also a science; it is religious science and scientific religion, and at a Parliament of Religions it would not be possible, indeed it would not be proper, to present the science of Theosophy, which relates to so many matters outside of the ordinary domain of the religions of today. The time will come when religion will also be a science. Today it is not. The object of Theosophy is to make of religion also a science, and to make science a religion, so we have been presenting only one-half of the subject which we deal with, and I would like you to remember that. We could not go into the other part; it would be beyond the scope of this meeting.

Now, we have discovered during the last week, as many have discovered before by reading, by experience, and by travel, that the religions of the world are nearly all alike. We have discovered that Christianity is not alone in claiming a Savior. If you will go over to Japan you will find that the Buddhists of Japan have a doctrine which declares that any one who relies upon and repeats three times a day the name "Amita Buddha," will be saved. That is one Savior of the Buddhists, who had the doctrine before Christianity was started. If you will go among the Buddhists elsewhere you

NOTE―Address given by Mr. Judge at the Parliament of Religions, 1893. (Title added.)


will find that they also have a Savior; that by reliance upon the Lord Buddha, they claim they will be saved. If you will go to the Brahmins and the other religions of India, you will find they also have a Savior. In some parts of that mysterious land they say: "Repeat the name of Rama"―God―"and he will save you." The Brahmins themselves have in their doctrines a doctrine which is called the "Bridge Doctrine": that which has God for its aim, has God himself as the means of salvation; is itself God. And so wherever you go throughout this wide world, examining the various religions, you find they all have this common doctrine. Why should we then say that the latest of these religions is the inventor of the doctrine? It is not. It is common property of the whole human race, and we find on further inquiry that these religions all teach, and the Christian religion also, that this Savior is within the heart of every man, and is not outside of him.

We have discovered further by examining all these religions and comparing them with the Christian religion, which is the one belonging to the foremost nation of today, that in these other religions and in Christianity are found certain doctrines which constitute the key that will unlock this vast lock made up of the different religions. These doctrines are not absent from Christianity any more than they are absent from Buddhism or from Brahminism, and now the time has come when the world must know that these doctrines are common property, when it is too late for any people West or East to claim that they have a special property in any doctrine whatever.

The two principles which unlock this great lock which bars men sometimes from getting on, are called Karma and Reincarnation. The latter doctrine bears a more difficult Sanscrit name.

The doctrine of Karma put into our language is simply and solely Justice. What is justice? Is it something that condemns alone? I say, No. Justice is also mercy. For mercy may not be dissociated from justice, and the word justice itself includes mercy within it. Not the justice of man, which is false and erring, but the justice of Nature. That is also mercy.


For if she punishes you, it is in order that she may do a merciful act and show you the truth at last by discipline. That is the doctrine of Karma, and it is also called the ethical law of causation. It means that effect follows cause uniformly; not alone in mere objective nature, where if you put your hand in the fire it will surely be burned, but in your moral nature, throughout your whole spiritual and intellectual evolution. It has been too much the custom to withdraw from use this law of cause and effect the moment we look at man as a spiritual being; and the religions and philosophies of the past and the present have the proof within them that this law of cause and effect obtains on the spiritual, the moral, and the intellectual planes just as much as it does on the physical and objective. It is our object to once more bring back this law of justice to the minds of men and show them that justice belongs to God, and that he is not a God who favors people, but who is just because he is merciful.

The doctrine of reincarnation is the next one. Reincarnation, you say, what is that? Do you mean that I was here before? Yes, undoubtedly so. Do you mean to tell me that this is a Christian, a Buddhist, a Brahminical, a Japanese doctrine, and a Chinese one? Yes, and I can prove it; and if you will examine your own records with an unprejudiced and fearless mind, afraid of no man, you will prove it also. If you go back in the records of Christianity to the first year of it, you will find that for many centuries this doctrine was taught. Surely the men who lived near Jesus knew what the doctrine was. It was admitted by Jesus himself. He said on one occasion that Elias had already come back in the person of John, but had been destroyed by the ruler. How could Elias come back and be born again as John unless the law of nature permitted it? We find on examining the writers, the early Christian fathers who made the theology of the Christian churches admitting, by the greatest of them, Origen, that this doctrine was true. He, the greatest of them all, who wrote so much men could not read all his books, believed in it. It is said in the Christian scripture that Jesus also said so much they


could not record it, and if they had, the volumes could not be counted. If these teachings were not recorded, we can imagine from what he spoke and from what his early followers believed, that this doctrine was taught distinctly by him in words.

It is the doctrine of which the Reverend Mr. Beecher, brother of the famous Henry Ward Beecher, in a book called The Conflict of Religions, said, "It is an absolute necessity to Christianity; without it Christianity is illogical. With it it is logical." And a great writer, the Rev. William Alger, whose book, A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life, is used in the religious educational institutions of all denominations with perhaps one exception, has written twice in two editions and said that after fifteen years study of the subject he had come to the conclusion that the doctrine was true and necessary.

Furthermore, we find that in these countries where Christianity arose―for Christianity is not a Western product―reincarnation has always been believed. You ask for human evidence. You believe in this city, not only in this city but everywhere, in a court of law, if many witnesses testify to a fact it is proven. Well, millions upon millions of men in the East testify that they not only believe in reincarnation, but that they know it is true, that they remember that they were born before and that they were here before, and hundreds and thousands of men in the West have said the same thing. That they not only believe it, but that they know it. Poets have written of it all through English literature. It is a doctrine that almost everybody believes in their hearts. The little child coming straight from the other shore, coming without any defects straight from the heavenly Father, believes that it has always lived.

If the doctrine of immortality which is taught by every religion is true, how can you split it in halves and say, you began to be immortal when you were born and you were never immortal before? How is it possible you did not live before if there is any justice in this universe? Is it not true


that what happens is the result of your conduct? If you live a life of sin and wickedness, will you not suffer? If you steal, and rob, and lie, and put in operation causes for punishment, will you not be punished? Why should not that law be applied to the human being when born, to explain his state and capacity? We find children are born blind, deformed, halt, without capacity; where is the prior conduct which justifies such a thing, if they have just been born for the first time? They must have lived before. The disciples asked Jesus, "Why was this man born blind; was it for some sin he had committed?" When committed? When did he commit it if he had never been born before? Why ask Jesus, their master, this question, unless they believed the doctrine, unless, as we think, it is the true one and one then prevalent?

This doctrine of reincarnation, then, we claim is the lost chord of any religion that does not promulgate it. We say it is found in the Christian religion; it is found in every religion, and it offers to us a means whereby our evolution may be carried on, it offers an explanation to the question, Why are men born with different characters? We find one man born generous, and he will always be generous; we find another born selfish, and selfish he will be to the end of his life. We find one man born with great capacity, a great mind that can cover many subjects at once; or a special mind and capacity like that of Mozart. Why was he born so? Where did he get it if not from the character he had in the past? You may say that heredity explains it all. Then please explain how Blind Tom, born of negro parents who never knew anything about a piano, who never knew anything about music, was able to play upon a mechanically scaled instrument like the piano? It is not a natural thing. Where did he get the capacity? Heredity does not explain that. We explain it by reincarnation. Just so with Mozart, who at four years of age was able to write an orchestral score. Do you know what that means? It means the writing down the parts for the many instruments, and not only that, but writing it in a forced scale, which is a mechanical thing. How will that be explained


by heredity? If you say that among his ancestors there must have been musicians, then why not before or after him? See Bach! If Bach could look back from the grave he would have seen his musical genius fading and fading out of his family until at last it disappeared.

Heredity will not explain these great differences in character and genius, but reincarnation will. It is the means of evolution of the human soul; it is the means of evolution for every animate and inanimate thing in this world. It applies to everything. All nature is constantly being reëmbodied, which is reincarnation. Go back with science. It shows you that this world was first a mass of fiery vapor; come down the years and you see this mass reëmbodied in a more solid form; later still it is reëmbodied as the mineral kingdom, a great ball in the sky, without life; later still animal life begins evolving until now it has all that we know of life, which is a reëmbodiment over and over again, or reincarnation. It means, then, that just as you move periodically from house to house in the city, you are limited by every house you move into, so the human being, who never dies, is not subject to death, moves periodically from house to house, and takes up a mortal body life after life, and is simply limited a little more or a little less, just as the case may be, by the particular body he may inhabit.

I could not go through all this subject to answer all the objections, but Theosophy will answer them all. The differences in people are explained by the fact that the character of the individual attracts him to the family that is just like himself, and not to any other family, and through heredity he receives his discipline, punishment, and reward.

The objections to reincarnation are generally based upon the question, why we do not remember. In the West that objection arises from the fact that we have been materialists so long, we have been deceived so long, that we have forgotten; we are not able to remember anything but what makes a violent impression on our senses. In the East and in some places in the West the people remember, and the time will come when the people in the West will remember also. And


I warrant you that the children of the West know this, but it is rubbed out of their minds by their fathers and mothers. They say to the child, "Don't bother me with such questions; you are only imagining things." As if a child could imagine that it had been here before if it had not been. They never could imagine a thing which has not some existence in fact or that is not built up from impressions received. As you watch the newborn child you will see it throw its arms out to support itself. Why should the child throw out its arms to support itself? You say, instinct. What is instinct? Instinct is recollection imprinted upon the soul, imprinted upon the character within a child just born, and it knows enough to remember that it must throw out its arms to save itself from being hurt. Any physician will tell you this fact is true. Whether they explain it in the same way as I do or not, I don't know. We cannot remember our past lives simply because the brain which we now have was not concerned with these past lives. You say you cannot remember a past life, and therefore you don't believe it is true. Well if we grant that kind of argument, apply it to the fact that you cannot remember the facts of your present existence here; you cannot remember what dinner you ate three weeks ago; you cannot remember one-quarter of what has happened to you. Do you mean to say that all these things did not happen because you cannot remember? You cannot remember what happens to you now, so how do you expect to remember what happened to you in another life? But the time will come when man not so immersed in materiality will form his soul to such an extent that its qualities will be impressed upon the newborn child body and he will be able to remember and to know all his past, and then he will see himself an evolving being who has come up through all the ages as one of the creators of the world, as one of those who have aided in building this world. Man, we say, is the top, the crown of evolution; not merely as one who has been out there through favor, but as one who worked himself up through nature, unconsciously sometimes to himself, but under law, the very top and key of the whole system, and the time


will come when he will remember it.

Now, this being the system of evolution which we gather from all religions, we say it is necessary to show that cause and effect act on man's whole being. We say that this law of cause and effect, or Karma, explains every circumstance in life and will show the poor men in Chicago who are born without means to live, who sometimes are hunted by the upper class and live in misery, why they are born so. It will explain why a man is born rich, with opportunity which he neglects; and another man born rich, with opportunity which he does not neglect. It will explain how Carnegie, the great iron founder in America, was a poor telegraph boy before he was raised to be a great millionaire. It will explain how one is born with small brain power, and another born with great brain power. It is because we have never died; we have always been living, in this world or in some other, and we are always making causes and character for the next life as well as for this.

Do you not know that your real life is in your mind, in your thoughts? Do you not know a great deal is due to your own mind, and under every act is a thought, and the thoughts make the man, and those thoughts act upon the forces of nature? Inasmuch as all these beings come back and live together over and over again, they bring back the thoughts, the impressions of those they have met and which others have made upon them there. When you persecute and hurt a man now, you are not punished afterwards because of the act you did to him, but because of the thought under your act and the thought under his feelings when he received your act. Having made these thoughts, they remain forever with you and him, and when you come again you will receive back to yourselves that which you gave to another. And is not that Christianity as well as Brahminism and Buddhism? You say, No. I say, Yes; read it in the words of Jesus, and I would have you to show that you are right if you say, No. St. Paul I suppose is authority for you, and St. Paul says "Brethren, be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." I ask you where and when shall he


reap that which he has sown? He must reap it where he sowed it, or there is no justice. He must come back here and help to cure that evil which he caused; he must come back here if he did cause any evil and continue to do all the good he can, so he may help to evolve the whole human race, which is waiting for him also. Jesus said; "Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what measure ye mete, so shall it be measured out to you again." When? If you go to heaven after this life and escape all you have done, certainly not then, and you make Jesus to have said that which is not true, and make St. Paul say that which is not true.

But I believe that St. Paul and Jesus knew what they were talking about and meant what they said. So, then, we must come again here in order that God shall not be mocked and each man shall reap that which he has sowed.

It is just the absence of this explanation that has made men deny religion; for they have said: "Why, these men did not get what they sowed. Here are rich, wicked men who die in their beds, happy, with a shrive at the end of it. They have not reaped." But we know, just as Jesus and St. Paul have said, they will reap it surely, and we say according to philosophy, according to logic, according to justice, they will reap it right here where they sowed it, and not somewhere else. It would be unjust to send them anywhere else to reap it but where they did it. That has been taught in every religion ever since the world began, and it is the mission of the Theosophical Society to bring back the key to all the creeds, to show that they are really at the bottom in these essential doctrines alike, and that men have a soul in a body, a soul that is ever living, immortal and can never die, cannot be withered up, cannot be cut in two, cannot be destroyed, is never annihilated, but lives forever and forever, climbing forever and forever up the ladder of evolution, nearer and nearer, yet never reaching the full stature of the Godhead. That is what Theosophy wishes men to believe; not to believe that any particular creed is true. Jesus had no creed and formulated none. He declared the law to be, "Do unto others what you would have them do unto


you." That was the law and the prophets. That is enough for any one. Love your neighbor as yourself. No more. Why, then, any creeds whatever? His words are enough, and his words and our ethical basis are the same. That is why we have no form of religion. We are not advocating religion; we are simply pointing out to men that the truth is there to pick up and prize it. Religion relates to the conduct of men; nature will take care of the results; nature will see what they will come to; but if we follow these teachings which we find everywhere, and the spirit of the philosophy which we find in all these old books, then men will know why they must do right, not because of the law, not because of fear, not because of favor, but because they must do right for rights own sake.


LADIES and gentlemen: This is our last meeting; it is the last impulse of the Cycle which we began when we opened our sessions at this Parliament. All the other bodies which have met in this building have been also starting cycles just as we have been. Now, a great many people know what the word "cycle" means, and a great many do not. There are no doubt in Chicago many men who think that a cycle is a machine to be ridden; but the word that I am dealing with is not that. I am dealing with a word which means a return, a ring. It is a very old term, used in the far past. In our civilization it is applied to a doctrine which is not very well understood, but which is accepted by a great many scientific men, a great many religious men, and by a great many thinking men. The theory is, as held by the ancient Egyptians, that there is a cycle, a law of cycles which governs humanity, governs the earth, governs all that is in the universe. You may have heard Brother Chakravarti say the Hindus are still teaching that there is a great cycle which begins when the Unknown breathes forth the whole universe, and ends when it is turned in again into itself. That is the great cycle.

In the Egyptian monuments, papyri, and other records the cycles are spoken of. They held, and the ancient Chinese also held, that a great cycle governs the earth, called the sidereal cycle because it related to the stars. The work was so large that it had to be measured by the stars, and that cycle is

NOTE.―Final address by W.Q.J. at Parliament of Religions, 1893. Other talks by Mr. Judge on "The Organized Life of the T.S." and "Theosophy in the Christian Bible" were printed in Pamphlets No. 3 and No. 15.


25,800 and odd years long. They claim to have measured this enormous cycle. The Egyptians gave evidence they had measured it also and had measured many others, so that in these ancient records, looking at the question of cycles, we have a hint that man has been living on the earth, has been civilized and uncivilized for more years than we have been taught to believe. The ancient Theosophists have always held that civilization with humanity went around the earth in cycles, in rings, returning again and again upon itself, but that at each turn of the cycle, on the point of return it was higher than before. This law of cycles is held in Theosophical doctrine to be the most important of all, because it is at the bottom of all. It is a part of the law of that unknown being who is the universe, that there shall be a periodical coming from and a periodical returning again upon itself.

Now, that the law of cycles does prevail in the world must be very evident if you will reflect for a few moments. The first cycle I would draw your attention to is the daily cycle, when the sun rises in the morning and sets at night, returning again next morning, you following the sun, rising in the morning and at night going to sleep again, at night almost appearing dead, but the next morning awaking to life once more. That is the first cycle. You can see at once that there are therefore in a man’s life just as many cycles of that kind as there are days in his life. The next is the monthly cycle, when the moon, changing every 28 days, marks the month. We have months running to more days, but that is only for convenience, to avoid change in the year. The moon gives the month and marks the monthly cycle.

The next is the yearly cycle. The great luminary, the great mover of all, returns again to a point from whence he started. The next great cycle to which I would draw your attention, now we have come to the sun―it is held by science and is provable I think by other arguments―the next cycle is that the sun, while stationary to us, is in fact moving through space in an enormous orbit which we can not measure. As he moves he draws the earth and the planets as they wheel about him.


We may say, then, this is another great cycle. It appears reasonable that, as the sun is moving through that great cycle, he must draw the earth into spaces and places and points in space where the earth has never been before, and that it must happen that the earth shall come now and then into some place where the conditions are different and that it may be changed in a moment, as it were, for to the eye of the soul a thousand years are but a moment, when everything will be different. That is one aspect of cyclic doctrine, that the sun is drawing the earth in a great orbit of his own and is causing the earth to be changed in its nature by reason of the new atomic spaces into which it is taken.

We also hold that the earth is governed by cyclic law throughout the century as in a moment. The beings upon it are never in the same state. So nations, races, civilizations, communities are all governed in the same way and moved by the same law. This law of cycles is the law of reincarnation that we were speaking of today: that is, that a man comes into the world and lives a day, his life is as a day; he dies out of it and goes to sleep, elsewhere waking; then he sleeps there to wake again the next great day; after a period of rest, he again enters life; that is his cycle. We hold in Theosophical philosophy it has been proven by the Adepts by experiment that men in general awake from this period of rest after 1,500 years. So we point in history to an historical cycle of 1,500 years, after which old ideas return. And if you will go back in the history of the world you will find civilization repeating itself every 1,500 years, more or less like what it was before. That is to say, go back 1,500 years from now and you will find coming out here now the Theosophists, the philosophers, the various thinkers, the inventors of 1,500 years ago. And going further back still, we hold that those ancient Egyptians who made such enormous pyramids and who had a civilization we cannot understand, at that dim period when they burst on the horizon of humanity to fall again, have had their cycle of rest and are reincarnating again even in America. So we think, some of us, that the American people of the new generation


are a reincarnation of the ancient Egyptians, who are coming back and bringing forth in this civilization all the wonderful ideas which the Egyptians held. And that is one reason why this country is destined to be a great one, because the ancients are coming back, they are here, and you are very foolish if you refuse to consider yourselves so great. We are willing you should consider yourselves so great, and not think you are born mean, miserable creatures.

The next cycle I would draw your attention to is that of civilizations. We know that civilizations have been here, and they are gone. There is no bridge between many of these. If heredity, as some people claim, explains everything, how is it not explained why the Egyptians left no string to connect them with the present? There is nothing left of them but the Copts, who are poor miserable slaves. The Egyptians, as a material race, are wiped out, and it is so because it is according to the law of cycles and according to the law of nature that the physical embodiment of the Egyptians had to be wiped out. But their souls could not go out of existence, and so we find their civilization and other civilizations disappearing, civilizations such as the ancient civilization of Babylon, and all those old civilizations in that part of the East which were just as strange and wonderful as any other. And this civilization of ours has come up instead of going down, but it is simply repeating the experience of the past on a higher level. It is better in potentiality than that which has been before. Under the cyclic law it will rise higher and higher, and when its time comes it will die out like the rest.

Also religions have had their cycles. The Christian religion has had its cycle. It began in the first year of the Christian era and was a very different thing then from what it is now. If you examine the records of Christianity itself you will see that the early fathers and teachers taught differently in the beginning from that which the priests of today are teaching now. Similarly you will find that Brahminism has had its cycle. Every religion rises and falls with the progress of human thought, because cyclic law governs every man, and thus every religion


which man has.

So it is also with diseases. Is it not true that fevers are governed by a law of recurrence in time; some have three days, some four days, nine days, fifteen days, three years and so on? No physician can say why it is so; they only know that it is a fact. So in every direction the law of cycles is found to govern. It is all according to the great inherent law of the periodical ebb and flow, the Great Day and Night of Nature. The tides in Ocean rise and fall; similarly in the great Ocean of Nature there is a constant ebb and flow, a mightier tide which carries all with it. The only thing that remains unshaken, immovable, never turning is the Spirit itself. That, as St. James said―and he doubtless was himself a wise Theosophist―is without variableness and hath no shadow of turning.

Now, this great law of periodical return pertains also to every individual man in his daily life and thought. Every idea that you have, every thought, affects your brain and mind by its impression. That begins the cycle. It may seem to leave your mind, apparently it goes out, but it returns again under the same cyclic law in some form either better or worse, and wakes up once more the old impression. Even the very feelings that you have of sorrow or gladness will return in time, more or less according to your disposition, but inevitably in their cycle. This is a law it would do good for every one to remember, especially those who have variations of joy and sorrow, of exaltation and depression. If when depressed you would recollect the law and act upon it by voluntarily creating another cycle of exaltation, on its returning again with the companion cycle of lower feeling it would in no long time destroy the depressing cycle and raise you to higher places of happiness and peace. It applies again in matters of study where we use the intellectual organs only. When a person begins the study of a difficult subject or one more grave than usual, there is a difficulty in keeping the mind upon it; the mind wanders; it is disturbed by other and older ideas and impressions. But by persistency a new cycle is established, which, being kept rolling, at last obtains the mastery.


We hold further―and I can only go over this briefly―that in evolution itself, considered as a vast inclusive whole, there are cycles, and that unless there were these turnings and returnings no evolution would be possible, for evolution is but another word for cyclic law. Reincarnation, or re-embodiment over and over again, is an expression of this great law and a necessary part of evolution.

Evolution means a coming forth from something. From out of what does the evolving universe come? It comes out from what we call the unknown, and we call it "unknown" simply because we do not know what it is. The unknown does not mean the non-existent; it simply means that which we do not perceive in its essence or fullness. It goes forth again and again, always higher and better; but while it is rolling around at its lower arc it seems to those down there that it is lower than ever; but it is bound to come up again. And that is the answer we give to those who ask, What of all those civilizations that have disappeared, what of all the years that I have forgotten? What have I been in other lives, I have forgotten them? We simply say, you are going through your cycle. Some day all these years and experiences will return to your recollection as so much gained. And all the nations of the earth should know this law, remember it and act upon it, knowing that they will come back and that others also will come back. Thus they should leave behind something that will raise the cycle higher and higher, thus they should ever work toward the perfection which mankind as a whole is striving in fact to procure for itself.


Its Claims, Doctrines, And Progress

LogoWHEN the Theosophical Society was started by the erstwhile famous Madam Blavatsky, in 1875, the now famous orator, Mrs. Annie Besant, was beginning to deny that there was any life beyond this one, and was entering on that part of her career in which she has made herself a much-talked-of woman in all parts of the civilized world. None of the theosophists had the slightest idea then that such an able champion for their cause was actually training herself for its service, nor did she think then of what the present years would tell of her. For the third time, now, Mrs. Besant has come to the United States to lecture on the doctrines of this new-old faith. In England large audiences always greet her, and the London papers cite the last large meeting she had there in St. James Hall as proof that her hold on the public is not weakened. Her eloquence is, in fact, described as being quite as powerful as in the past, and some writers think it has increased in effect. On this trip she will go to the Pacific coast, speaking in all its principal cities, and also in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and others on the way out and back.

Her visit will greatly encourage the theosophists, who are now a body of people extending from this coast to the Pacific. The objects of the society are: First―To form a nucleus of a universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, or color. Second―To promote the study of


Aryan and other Eastern literatures, religions, and sciences, and demonstrate the importance of that study. Third―To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the psychical powers latent in man.

The general headquarters of the body is at a suburb of Madras, in India, built on the bank of a pretty little river, and near to the sea. Here, any day, you can meet all sorts of men of all nations―gold-colored Brahmins from south and north, black Hindoos and white Europeans, Mohammedans and Christians, and now and then some picturesque Indian mendicant making a pious pilgrimage.

In New York the local branch has purchased a large house at 144 Madison Avenue, where it has not only the general office of the American secretary, but also three good libraries and a book-selling department. Many well-known names are on their list of members. There is Professor James, of Harvard, who joined in Boston; Thomas A. Edison, too, is one of the old members but not now an active one. Dr. J. H. Salisbury, of Fifty-ninth Street, who introduced a special form of treatment of diseases, is a member; Miss Katherine Hillard, the lecturer on poetry, is another; and then one can find merchants, doctors, lawyers, and people of every profession in the membership. They have free public lectures every Sunday, and their own meetings on Tuesdays.

In San Francisco the societies activity is marked. They sustain there a lecturer who goes up and down the coast speaking to the public freely on the subject. They do not seek proselytes, but content themselves with presenting their ideas, which cover a large number of doctrines, as supports for the principle of universal brotherhood. No antagonism to Christianity is manifested, although dogmatists might see in what they say a current of opposition to all dogmatic schools. One of their recent lectures was an attempt to show from the Bible that Jesus taught the doctrine of pre-existence and reincarnation, and it was asserted then that many a Christian minister has believed this. But it is not a dogma with them, as all can believe what they like so long as they tolerate the beliefs of others. A similar


sort of lecture in Washington, some little time ago, brought out one of the Jesuits there in some lectures to show the truths and errors of theosophy, in which the final conclusion was that the present form of the movement was engineered by the devil himself. At Fort Wayne, Indiana, the local branch has called itself after Annie Besant, and includes a great many of the best men in the town, such as two Supreme Court judges, leading lawyers, doctors, and bankers. Much interest was created in the subject there by a discussion carried on in the newspapers, and also by an attack made on the whole movement by one of the preachers of the city. But, generally, the theosophist comes out ahead, because his opponent assumes a good deal that the theosophist does not say, and then a fair presentation of theosophy follows.

It cannot be denied that this movement has attained importance. Weak and derided seventeen years ago, its membership has steadily increased; they have an excellent organization, and are well united. They say they are not spiritualists, and when one considers the violence with which some spiritualists assail theosophy one believes they are not. The theory they advance about an astral body which is an exact duplicate of the physical one is very interesting, and it is claimed that it will fully explain many facts in the psychic realm, and much that puzzles people in dreams, visions, and the seeing of apparitions. They say that all the work of the Psychical Society will amount to naught until these theories are accepted.

Mrs. Besant gives her adherence to all these doctrines on the ground that she has experimented in the field and proved all to her satisfaction. Her explanation of her change of belief is that hitherto no such field of inquiry had been suggested to her, but when Madam Blavatsky showed her the possibilities, examination followed, and that resulted in belief. This declaration of opinion by such a well-known woman had the effect of turning many agnostics in the same direction, and the theosophists say that before very long all the scientific world will come to accept these theories. This is a bold claim, but they show the utmost confidence, and, it is said, point to prophecies


to the same effect. If sincerity of effort, and at times fanaticism in following along a course in the face of violent opposition, will do anything, they may succeed. They all give time and energy to the work for no compensation except the joy of seeing the movement grow. Some work all day for the society and have no remuneration, and Mrs. Besant herself not only receives no salary, but devotes what she makes by pen and voice to the society's work. It is one of their teachings to do all you can for the human family without hope of reward. They may be mistaken, but they are well-meaning, sincere, and devoted, and withal exhibit evidences, not easy to trace to their source, of being managed by some master-hand that closes up the ranks and often turns seeming disaster into victory.

Touching the religious side, they hold that the ethics promulgated by Jesus are universal and ancient. But they say that at present there is no real basis for ethics in the religion or science of the day, and that the people profess ethics but do not practice them. Theosophy proposes to enforce the practice of these true ethics by the doctrines of actual unity of the human race and the constant re-birth of souls into this life; hence, as all return here to reap the reward of their deeds, good and bad, the theosophist asserts that belief in this doctrine will cause men to practice what is preached.

Bryan Kinnavan

Frank Leslie's Weekly
December 15, 1892


By William Q. Judge, F.T.S.

TWO great shadowy shapes remain fixed in the attention of the mind of the day, threatening to become in the twentieth century more formidable and engrossing than ever. They are religion and reform, and in their sweep they include every question of pressing human need; for this first arises through the introspective experience of the race out of its aspirations toward the unknown and the ever present desire to solve the questions whence and why? while the second has its birth in the conditions surrounding the bodies of the questioners of fate who struggle helplessly in the ocean of material existence.

Many men wielding small or weighty pens have wrestled with these questions, attacking them in ways as various as the minds of those who have taken them up for consideration, but it still remains for the theosophist to bring forward his views and obtain a hearing. This he should always do as a matter of duty, and not from the pride of fame or the self-assertion which would see itself proclaimed before men. For he knows that, even if he should not speak or could not get a hearing, the march of that evolution in which he thoroughly believes will force these views upon humanity, even if that has to be accomplished by suffering endured by every human unit.

The theosophist can see no possibility of reform in existing abuses, in politics or social relations, unless the plan of reform is one which grows out of a true religion, and he does not think that any of the prevailing religions of the Occident are true or adequate. They do not go to the root of the evil which causes the pain and sorrow that call for reform or alleviation. And in his opinion theosophy―the essence or concentrated virtue of every religion―alone has power to offer and effect the cure.

None of the present attempts at reform will meet success so long as they are devoid of the true doctrine as to man, his nature and destiny, and respecting the universe, its origin and future course. Every one of these essays leaves man where it


finds him, neglecting the lessons to be drawn from the cycles in their never-ceasing revolution. While efforts are made to meliorate his mere physical condition, the real mover, the man within, is left without a guide, and is therefore certain to produce from no matter how good a system the same evils which are designed to be destroyed. At every change he once more proceeds to vitiate the effect of any new regimen by the very defects in human nature that cannot be reached by legislation or by dogmatic creeds and impossible hells, because they are beyond the reach of everything except the power of his own thought. Nationalism, Socialism, Liberalism, Conservatism, Communism, and Anarchism are each and all ineffective in the end. The beautiful dream depicted by Nationalism cannot be made a physical fact, since it has no binding inward sanction; Communism could not stand, because in time the Communist would react back into the holder of individual rights and protector of property which his human nature would demand ought not to be dissipated among others less worthy. And the continuance of the present system, in which the amasser of wealth is allowed to retain and dispose of what he has acquired, will, in the end, result in the very riot and bloodshed which legislation is meant to prevent and suppress.

Indeed, the great popular right of universal suffrage, instead of bringing about the true reign of liberty and law, will be the very engine through which the crash will come, unless with it the Theosophic doctrines are inculcated. We have seen the suffrage gradually extended so as to be universal in the United States, but the people are used by the demagogues and the suffrage is put to waste. Meanwhile, the struggle between capital and labor grows more intense, and in time will rage with such fury that the poor and unlearned, feeling the goad of poverty strike deeper, will cast their votes for measures respecting property in land or chattels, so revolutionary that capital will combine to right the supposed invasion by sword and bullet. This is the end toward which it is all tending, and none of the reforms so sincerely put forward will avert it for one hour after the causes have been sufficiently fixed and


crystallized. This final formation of the efficient causes is not yet complete, but is rapidly approaching the point where no cure will be possible.

The cold acquirements of science give us, it is true, magnificent physical results, but fail like creeds and reforms by legislative acts in the end. Using her own methods and instruments, she fails to find the soul and denies its existence; while the churches assert a soul but cannot explain it, and at the same time shock human reason by postulating the incineration by material fire of that which they admit is immortal. As a means of escape from this dilemma nothing is offered save a vicarious atonement and a retreat behind a blind acceptance of incongruities and injustice in a God who is supposed by all to be infinitely merciful and just.

Thus, on the one hand, science has no terrors and no reformatory force for the wicked and the selfish; on the other, the creeds, losing their hold in consequence of the inroads of knowledge, grow less and less useful and respected every year. The people seem to be approaching an era of wild unbelief. Just such a state of thought prevailed before the French revolution of 1793.

Theosophy here suggests the reconciliation of science and religion by showing that there is a common foundation for all religions and that the soul exists with all the psychic forces proceeding therefrom. As to the universe, Theosophy teaches a never-ending evolution and involution. Evolution begins when the Great Breath―Herbert Spencer’s "Unknowable" which manifests as universal energy―goes forth, and involution, or the disappearance of the universe, obtains when the same breath returns to itself. This coming forth lasts millions upon millions of years, and involution prevails for an equal length of time. As soon as the breath goes forth, universal mind together with universal basic matter appears. In the ancient system this mind is called Mahat, and matter Prakriti. Mahat has the plan of evolution which it impresses upon Prakriti, causing it to ceaselessly proceed with the evolution of forms and the perfecting of the units composing the cosmos.


The crown of this perfection is man, and he contains in himself the whole plan of the universe copied in miniature but universally potential.

This brings us to ourselves, surrounded as we are by an environment that appears to us to cause pain and sorrow, no matter where we turn. But as the immutable laws of cause and effect brought about our own evolution, the same laws become our saviors from the miseries of existence. The two great laws postulated by Theosophy for the world's reform are those of Karma and Reincarnation. Karma is the law of action which decrees that man must suffer and enjoy solely through his own thoughts and acts. His thoughts, being the smaller copy of the universal mind, lie at the root of every act and constitute the force that brings about the particular body he may inhabit. So Reincarnation in an earthly body is as necessary for him as the ceaseless reincarnation of the universal mind in evolution after evolution is needful for it. And as no man is a unit separate from the others in the Cosmos, he must think and act in such a way that no discord is produced by him in the great universal stream of evolution. It is the disturbance of this harmony which alone brings on the miseries of life, whether that be of a single man or of the whole nation. As he has acted in his last life or lives, so will he be acted upon in succeeding ones. This is why the rich are often unworthy, and the worthy so frequently poor and afflicted. All appeals to force are useless, as they only create new causes sure to react upon us in future lives as well as in the present. But if all men believed in this just and comprehensive law of Karma, knowing well that whatever they do will be punished or rewarded in this or other new lives, the evils of existence would begin to disappear. The rich would know that they are only trustees for the wealth they have and are bound to use it for the good of their fellows, and the poor, satisfied that their lot is the just desert for prior acts and aided by the more fortunate, would work out old bad Karma and sow the seeds of only that which is good and harmonious.

National misery, such as that of Whitechapel in London (to


be imitated ere long in New York), is the result of national Karma, which in its turn is composed of the aggregation of not only the Karma of the individuals concerned but also of that belonging to the rest of the nation. Ordinary reforms, whether by law or otherwise, will not compass the end in view. This is demonstrated by experience. But given that the ruling and richer classes believe in Karma and Reincarnation, a universal widespread effort would at once be made by those favorites of fortune toward not only present alleviation of miserable conditions, but also in the line of educating the vulgar who now consider themselves oppressed as well by their superiors as by fate. The opposite is now the case, for we cannot call individual sporadic or sectarian efforts of beneficence a national or universal attempt. Just now we have the General of the Salvation Army proposing a huge scheme of colonization which is denounced by a master of science, Prof. Huxley, as utopian, inefficient, and full of menace for the future. And he, in the course of his comment, candidly admits the great danger to be feared from the criminal and dissatisfied classes. But if the poorer and less discriminating see the richer and the learned offering physical assistance and intelligent explanations of the apparent injustice of life which can be found only in Theosophy there would soon arise a possibility of making effective the fine laws and regulations which many are ready to add to those already proposed. Without such Theosophic philosophy and religion, the constantly increasing concessions made to the clamor of the uneducated democracy's demands will only end in inflating the actual majority with an undue sense of their real power, and thus precipitate the convulsion which might be averted by the other course.

This is a general statement of the only panacea, for if once believed in―even from a selfish motive―it will compel, by a force that works from within all men, the endeavor to escape from future unhappiness which is inevitable if they violate the laws inhering in the universal mind.

The Twentieth Century
New York, March 12, 1891


TOO much attention has been paid by several to the opinions of men in the world who have a reputation in science and in scholarship. Their opinions are valuable in their respective fields, but the ideas of the world should not be permitted to dwarf our work or smother our hearts desire. These owners of reputations do not entirely govern the progress of the race.

The great mass of mankind are of the common people, and it is with them we have chiefly to deal. For our message does not come only for the scholar and the scientific man. In spite of scholars, in spite of science, the superstitions of the people live on. And perhaps those very superstitions are the means of preserving to us the almost forgotten truth. Indeed, had we listened only to those learned in books, we would long ago have lost all touch with our real life.

If we believe in our message and in the aim of the Society, we ought never to tire telling the people that which they can understand. And the rich as well as the poor are the people to whom I refer. They need the help of Theosophy, for they are wandering very close to the marshes of materialism. They must have a true ethic, a right philosophy. Tell them of our great doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation. Tell of these with confidence, unshaken by opinions of others, and that confidence of yours will beget confidence in the hearer. Science and exact scholarship are factors in our progress, but although they are important, the mass of the people are more important

NOTE―This article is from an address given by Mr. Judge in London, at the close of the European T.S. convention, July 15, 1892.


still. You cannot scientifically prove everything. But if you are sure, as so many of us are, that we are immortal pilgrims, then tell the people plainly and practically how they have been here before in other bodies, and will be here again to suffer or enjoy just as they may have decided in their other life, and they will believe it. They will soon come to that belief because these laws are facts in nature, facts in their own real experience. Were I to attend only to scholars, I should be able to do no other work, while all the time my fellow-creatures―not scholars and in the vast majority―would be deprived of the spiritual help it was my duty to give them.

We are really working for the future, laying the foundation for a greater day than this. We are all coming back together to carry on this work if we now take up all our opportunities. We must act from duty now, and thus be right for the future.

Our duty is to recognize the great human soul with which we have to deal and for which we should work. Its progress, its experience, its inner life, are vastly more important than all our boasted civilization. That civilization could easily be swept away, and what would be left? Your country could be frozen up solidly in a few weeks, were the Gulf Stream deflected from these shores. Mines have honeycombed your land, and a good earthquake might easily shake all your material glories to destruction beneath the sea. What then could remain save the human experience, the experience of the soul? But no cataclysm can destroy your thoughts. They live on. And so all the work that you do for the inner life of man can meet with no destruction, even though records and books and all the ingenious works upon this outer plane were swept out of existence. If then you believe in this mighty doctrine of Reincarnation, do not be afraid to tell it.

But do not, as Theosophists, confine yourselves to the intellect. The dry or the interesting speculations upon all the details of cosmogony and anthropology will not save the world. They do not cure sorrow nor appeal to those who feel the grinding stones of fate, and know not why it should be so. Address yourselves therefore to using your intellectual knowl-


edge of these high matters, so as to practically affect the hearts of men.

Our debt to science is very great. It has levelled the barriers and made freedom of thought a possibility. Science is our friend, for without its progress you would now, at the order of the bigot, all be in the common jail. It has combated the strength and cut the claws of bigoted churches. And even those iconoclasts, such as Robert Ingersoll, who often violate the sentiment and ideals of many good men, have helped in this progress, for they have done the tearing down which must precede the building up. It is our place to supply the new structure, for the churches are beginning to find that they must look into subjects which once were kept out of sight. A sign of this was seen at a recent Council of the Methodist Church in America, where their brightest lights declared that they must accept evolution, or they would go down. The only church which does not publicly as yet proclaim on these matters is the Roman Catholic. It is so sly that I should not be surprised ere long to hear of its throwing its mantle over all our doctrines publicly, and saying that such had always been its doctrine. But if that step be taken it will be the fatal one. So even that need give us no fear.

We are working with and for the great unseen, but actual, Brotherhood of Humanity, and in our efforts, if sincere, will have the aid of those our Brothers who have perfected themselves before us and are ever ready to help on the human family. So if we are firmly fixed in that belief, we can never weaken.

I have heard some words about our pretending to be undogmatic, or that our claim to freedom is against the fact. I do not hold such an opinion. Our Society is, as a body, wholly unsectarian. It must always be so. But that does not affect the inevitable result of so many joined in one effort. A large number of us must have come at last to a common belief. This we can boldly say, and at the same time also that no enquirer is obliged to subscribe to those beliefs. For this we have the warrant, not only of our own statutes, but also that of the oft-


repeated declarations of H. P. Blavatsky. If I have a belief which works with all the problems that vex us so much, then I will tell it to my fellow who has joined these ranks. If wrong, the interchange of thought will correct me; if right, the truth must at last prevail. In this, Brotherhood means toleration of opinion, and not a fear of declaring the beliefs you hold, nor does that declaration negative in the least the claim to unsectarianism.

This Society is a small germ of a nucleus for a real outer Brotherhood. If we work aright the day must come when we shall have accomplished our aim and formed the nucleus. If we had five hundred members in the Society loving one another with true hearts, not criticizing nor condemning, and all bent on one aim with one belief we could sweep the whole world with our thoughts. And this is our work in the future, the work traced out for us by those Masters in whom so many of us firmly believe.

If we only have patience, what a glorious, wide, and noble prospect opens up before us!


Hence one whose fire is burned out is reborn through the tendencies in mind; according to his thoughts he enters life. But linked by the fire with the Self, this life leads to a world of recompense.―Prashna Upanishad.

Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return.―Genesis.

THE above quotation from Prashna Upanishad gives the old doctrine, the same as in Buddhism, that re-birth is due to mind and to the tendencies therein. "Whose fire has burned out" means the fire of life expiring. "According to his thoughts"

does not refer to what one wishes to have for rebirth, but to the seeds of thought left in the mind from the thinking of each hour of life; these in a mass make a tendency or many tendencies which on coming out either keep the soul to that family in all modes of thought and act or tend to segregate the soul from the circle into which it was born. "This life leads to a world of recompense," because by the fire of life it is linked to the Self, which being thus bound goes after death to the state where recompense is its portion. The alternation to and fro from one state to another for purposes of compensation is not the attainment of knowledge but the subjection to results eternally, unless the soul strives to find the truth and becomes free, and ceases to set up causes for future births.

A Jewish tradition says that Adam had to reincarnate as David and later as the Messiah; hence "to dust thou shalt return."

Path, February, 1894


THE lost chord of Christianity is the doctrine of Reincarnation. It was beyond doubt taught in the early days of the cult, for it was well known to the Jews who produced the men who founded Christianity. The greatest of all the Fathers of the Church―Origen―no doubt believed in the doctrine. He taught pre-existence and the wandering of the soul. This could hardly have been believed without also giving currency to reincarnation, as the soul could scarcely wander in any place save the earth. She was in exile from Paradise, and for sins committed had to revolve and wander. Wander where? would be the next question. Certainly away from Paradise, and the short span of human life would not meet the requirements of the case. But a series of reincarnations will meet all the problems of life as well as the necessities of the doctrines of exile, of wanderings for purification, of being known to God and being judged by him before birth, and of other dogmas given out among the Jews and of course well known to Jesus and whoever of the seventy-odd disciples were not in the deepest ignorance. Some of the disciples were presumably ignorant men, such as the fishermen, who had depended on their elders for instruction, but not all were of that sort, as the wonderful works of the period were sufficiently exciting to come to the ears of even Herod. Paul cannot be accused of ignorance, but was with Peter and James one of several who not only knew the new ideas but were well versed in the old ones. And those old ones are to be found in the Old Testament and in the Commentaries, in the Zohar, the Talmud, and the other works and sayings of the Jews, all of which built up a body of dogmas accepted by the people and the Rabbis. Hence sayings of Jesus, of Paul, and others have to be viewed with the well-known and never-disputed doctrines of the day held down to the present time, borne well in mind so as to make


passages clear and show what was tacitly accepted. Jesus himself said that he intended to uphold and buttress the law, and that law was not only the matter found in the book the Christian theologians saw fit to accept, but also in the other authorities of which all except the grossly unlearned were cognizant. So when we find Herod listening to assertions that John or Jesus was this, that, or the other prophet or great man of olden time, we know that he was with the people speculating on the doctrine of reincarnation or "coming back," and as to who a present famous person may have been in a former life. Given as it is in the Gospels as a mere incident, it is very plain that the matter was court gossip in which long philosophical arguments were not indulged in, but the doctrine was accepted and then personal facts gone into for amusement as well as for warning to the king. To an Eastern potentate such a warning would be of moment, as he, unlike a Western man, would think that a returning great personage would of necessity have not only knowledge but also power, and that if the people had their minds attracted to a new aspirant for the leadership they would be inflamed beyond control with the idea that an old prophet or former king had come back to dwell in another body with them. The Christians have no right, then, to excise the doctrine of reincarnation from their system if it was known to Jesus, if it was brought to his attention and was not condemned at all but tacitly accepted, and further, finally, if in any single case it was declared by Jesus as true in respect to any person. And that all this was the case can, I think, be clearly shown.

First for the Jews, from whom Jesus was born, and to whom he said unequivocally he came as a missionary or reformer. The Zohar is a work of great weight and authority among the Jews. In II, 199 b, it says that "all souls are subject to revolutions." This is metempsychosis or a'leen b'gilgoola; but it declares that "men do not know the way they have been judged in all time." That is, in their "revolutions" they lose a complete memory of the acts that have led to judgment. This is precisely the Theosophical doctrine. The Kether Malkuth says, "If she, the soul, be pure, then she shall obtain


favor . . . but if she hath been defiled, then she shall wander for a time in pain and despair . . . until the days of her purification." If the soul be pure and if she comes at once from God at birth, how could she be defiled? And where is she to wander if not on this or some other world until the days of her purification? The Rabbis always explained it as meaning she wandered down from Paradise through many revolutions or births until purity was regained.

Under the name of "Din Gilgol Neshomes" the doctrine of reincarnation is constantly spoken of in the Talmud. The term means "the judgment of the revolutions of the souls." And Rabbi Manassa, son of Israel, one of the most revered, says in his book Nishmath Hayem: "The belief or the doctrine of the transmigration of souls is a firm and infallible dogma accepted by the whole assemblage of our church with one accord, so that there is none to be found who would dare to deny it Indeed, there is a great number of sages in Israel who hold firm to this doctrine so that they made it a dogma, a fundamental point of our religion. We are therefore in duty bound to obey and to accept this dogma with acclamation as the truth of it has been incontestably demonstrated by the Zohar, and all books of the Kabalists."

These demonstrations hold, as do the traditions of the old Jews, that the soul of Adam reincarnated in David, and that on account of the sin of David against Uriah it will have to come again in the expected Messiah. And out of the three letters ADM, being the name of the first man, the Talmudists always made the names Adam, David and Messiah. Hence this in the Old Testament: "And they will serve Jhvh their God and David their king whom I shall reawaken for them." That is, David reincarnates again for the people. Taking the judgment of God on Adam "for dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return," the Hebrew interpreters said that since Adam had sinned it was necessary for him to reincarnate on earth in order to make good the evil committed in his first existence; so he comes as David, and later is to come as Messiah. The same doctrine was always applied by the Jews


to Moses, Seth, and Abel, the latter spelt Habel. Habel was killed by Cain, and then to supply the loss the Lord gave Seth to Adam; he died, and later on Moses is his reincarnation as the guide of the people, and Seth was said by Adam to be the reincarnation of Habel. Cain died and reincarnated as Yethrokorah, who died, the soul waiting till the time when Habel came back as Moses and then incarnated as the Egyptian who was killed by Moses; so in this case Habel comes back as Moses, meets Cain in the person of the Egyptian, and kills the latter. Similarly it was held that Bileam, Laban, and Nabal were reincarnations of the one soul or individuality. And of Job it was said that he was the same person once known as Thara, the father of Abraham; by which they explained the verse of Job (ix, 21), "Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my own soul," to mean that he would not recognize himself as Thara.

All this is to be had in mind in reading Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest out of the womb I sanctified thee"; or in Romans ix, v. 11, 13, after telling that Jacob and Esau being not yet born, "Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated"; or the ideas of the people that "Elias was yet to first come"; or that some of the prophets were there in Jesus or John; or when Jesus asked the disciples "Whom do men think that I am?" There cannot be the slightest doubt, then, that among the Jews for ages and down to the time of Jesus the ideas above outlined prevailed universally. Let us now come to the New Testament.

St. Matthew relates in the eleventh chapter the talk of Jesus on the subject of John, who is declared by him to be the greatest of all, ending in the 14th verse, thus:

And if ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come.

Here he took the doctrine for granted, and the "if" referred not to any possible doubts on that, but simply as to whether they would accept his designation of John as Elias. In the 17th chapter he once more takes up the subject thus:

10. And his disciples asked him saying, Why, then, say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said


unto them; Elias truly shall first come and restore all things. But I say unto you that Elias is come already, and they knew him not but have done to him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

The statement is repeated in Mark, chapter ix, v. 13, omitting the name of John. It is nowhere denied. It is not among any of the cases in which the different Gospels contradict each other; it is in no way doubtful. It is not only a reference to the doctrine of reincarnation, but is also a clear enunciation of it. It goes much further than the case of the man who was born blind, when Jesus heard the doctrine referred to, but did not deny it nor condemn it in any way, merely saying that the cause in that case was not for sin formerly committed, but for some extraordinary purpose, such as the case of the supposed dead man when he said that the man was not dead but was to be used to show his power over disease. In the latter one he perceived there was one so far gone to death that no ordinary person could cure him, and in the blind man's case the incident was like it. If he thought the doctrine pernicious, as it must be if untrue, he would have condemned it at the first coming up, but not only did he fail to do so, he distinctly himself brought it up in the case of John, and again when asking what were the popular notions as to himself under the prevailing doctrines as above shown. Matthew xvi, v. 13, will do as an example, as the different writers do not disagree, thus:

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, Whom do men say that I am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremias or one of the prophets.

This was a deliberate bringing-up of the old doctrine, to which the disciples replied, as all Jews would, without any dispute of the matter of reincarnation; and the reply of Jesus was not a confutation of the notion, but a distinguishing of himself from the common lot of sages and prophets by showing himself to be an incarnation of God and not a reincarnation of any saint or sage. He did not bring it up to dispute and condemn as he would and did do in other matters; but to


the very contrary he evidently referred to it so as to use it for showing himself as an incarnate God. And following his example the disciples never disputed on that; they were all aware of it; St. Paul must have held it when speaking of Esau and Jacob; St. John could have meant nothing but that in Revelations, chap. iii, v. 12.

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out.

Evidently he had gone out before or the words "no more" could have no place or meaning. It was the old idea of the exile of the soul and the need for it to be purified by long wandering before it could be admitted as a "pillar in the temple of God." And until the ignorant ambitious monks after the death of Origen had gotten hold of Christianity, the doctrine must have ennobled the new movement. Later the Council of Constantinople condemned all such notions directly in the face of the very words of Jesus, so that at last it ceased to vibrate as one of the chords, until finally the prophecy of Jesus that he came to bring a sword and division and not peace was fulfilled by the warring nations of Christian lands who profess him in words but by their acts constantly deny him whom they call "the meek and lowly."

Path, February, 1894William Q. Judge


AN exhaustive paper on this subject is not contemplated in this article, but even a sketch will show that the Christian Bible has in it the doctrine of Reincarnation. Of course those who adhere only to what the church now teaches on the subject of man, his nature and destiny, will not quickly accept any construction outside of the theological one, but there are many who, while not in the church, still cling to the old book from which they were taught.

In the first place, it must be remembered that the writers of the biblical books were Jews with few exceptions, and that the founder of Christianity―Jesus―was himself a Jew. An examination of his own sayings shows that he thought his mission was to the Jews only and not to the Gentiles. He said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." This clearly referred to the Jews and as clearly excluded the Gentiles. And on one occasion he refused for some time to do anything for a Gentile woman until her importunity at last compelled him to act; and then too he referred to his mission to the Jews. So in looking into these things we must also look at what were the beliefs of the day. The Jews then most undoubtedly believed in reincarnation. It was a commonly accepted doctrine as it is now in Hindustan, and Jesus must have been acquainted with it. This we must believe on two grounds: first, that he is claimed by the Christian to be the Son of God and full of all knowledge; and second, that he had received an education which permitted him to dispute with the doctors of divinity. The theory of reincarnation was very old at the time, and the Old Testament books show this to be so.

"Proverbs" gives the doctrine where Solomon says he was with the Creator from the beginning and that then his (Solomon's) delights were with the sons of men and in the habitable


parts of the earth. This disposes of the explanation that he meant he existed in the foreknowledge of the Creator, by the use of the sentences detailing his life on the earth and with men. Then again Elias and many other famous men were to actually return, and all the people were from time to time expecting them. Adam was held to have reincarnated to carry on the work he began so badly, and Seth, Moses, and others were reincarnated as different great persons of subsequent epochs. The land is an oriental one, and the orientals always held the doctrine of the rebirth of mortals. It was not always referred to in respect to the common man who died and was reborn, but came up prominently when the names of great prophets, seers, and legislators were mentioned. If readers will consult any well educated Jew who is not "reformed," they will gain much information on this national doctrine.

Coming now to the time of Jesus, all the foregoing has a bearing on what he said. And, of course, if what he said does not agree with the view of the church, then the church view must be given up or we will be guilty of doubting the wisdom of Jesus and his ability to conduct a great movement. This, indeed, is the real position of the Church, for it has promulgated dogmas and condemned doctrines wholly without any authority, and some that Jesus held himself it has put its anathema upon.

When there was brought into the presence of Jesus a man who was born blind, the disciples naturally wondered why he had thus been punished by the Almighty, and asked Jesus whether the man was thus born blind for some sin he had committed, or one done by his parents. The question was put by them with the doctrine of reincarnation fully accepted, for it is obvious the man must have lived before, in their estimation, in order to have done sin for which he was then punished. Now if the doctrine was wrong and pernicious, as the church has declared it to be by anathematizing it, Jesus must have known it to be wrong, and then was the time for him to deny the whole theory and explode it, as well as definitely putting his seal of condemnation upon it for all time. Yet he did not do


so; he waived it then and said the blindness was for other reasons in that case. It was not a denial of it. (See November Forum.*)

But again when John the Baptist, who had, so to say, ordained Jesus to his ministry, was killed by the ruler of the country, the news was brought to Jesus, and he then distinctly affirmed the doctrine of reincarnation. Hence his waiving the matter in the case of the blind man is shown to have been no refusal to credit the theory. Jesus affirmed the doctrine, and also affirmed the old ideas in relation to the return to earth of the prophets by saying that the ruler had killed John not knowing that he, John, was Elias "who was for to come."

On another occasion the same subject arose between Jesus and the disciples when they were talking about the coming of a messenger before Jesus himself. The disciples did not understand, and said that Elias was to come first as the messenger, and Jesus distinctly replied that Elias had come already in the person called John the Baptist. This time, if any, was the time for Jesus to condemn the doctrine, but, on the contrary, he boldly asserts it and teaches it, or rather shows its application to certain individuals, as was most interesting and instructive for the disciples who had not enough insight to be able to tell who any man was in his real immortal nature. But Jesus, being a seer, could look into the past and tell them just what historical character any one had been. And so he gave them details about John, and we must suppose more particulars were gone into than have come down to us in the writings naturally incomplete and confessed to be but a partial narrative of the doings and sayings of Jesus.

It must now be evident that there is a diametrical disagreement between the church and Jesus. The church has cursed the doctrine he taught. Which is right? The true believer in Jesus must reply that Jesus is; the church will say it is right by acting on that line. For if the doctrine be taught, then all

* The Theosophical Forum, was a small publication issued monthly to all members of the American Section of the Theosophical Society, comprised of answers to questions on the Theosophical philosophy. The reply to which Mr. Judge here refers elaborates on the explanation of Jesus statement (John, 9) concerning the man who was born blind―Eds.


men are put on an equal basis, and hence the power of the human rulers of heaven and earth is at once weakened. Such an important doctrine as this is one that Jesus could not afford to pass over. And if it is wrong, then it was his duty to condemn it: indeed, we must suppose that he would have done so were it not entirely right. And as he went further, even to the extent of affirming it, then it stands with his seal of approval for all time.

John the Revealer believed it of course, and so in his book we find the verse saying that the voice of the Almighty declared that the man who overcame should "go out no more" from heaven. This is mere rhetoric if reincarnation be denied; it is quite plain as a doctrine if we construe it to mean that the man who by constant struggle and many lives at last overcomes the delusions of matter will have no need to go out into life any more, but from that time will be a pillar, what the Theosophist knows as "Dhyan Chohan" forevermore. And this is exactly the old and oriental doctrine on the point.

St. Paul also gives the theory of reincarnation in his epistles where he refers to the cases of Jacob and Esau, saying that the Lord loved the one and hated the other before they were born. It is obvious that the Lord cannot love or hate a non-existing thing, and that this means that Jacob and Esau had been in their former lives respectively good and bad and therefore the Lord―or Karma―loved the one and hated the other before their birth as the men known as Jacob and Esau. And Paul was here speaking of the same event that the older prophet Malachi spoke of in strict adherence to the prevalent idea. Following Paul and the disciples came the early fathers of the church, and many of them taught the same. Origen was the greatest of them. He gave the doctrine specifically, and it was because of the influence of his ideas that the Council of Constantinople 500 years after Jesus saw fit to condemn the whole thing as pernicious. This condemnation worked because the fathers were ignorant men, most of them Gentiles who did not care for old doctrines and, indeed, hated them. So it fell out of the public teaching and was at last lost to the Western


world. But it must revive, for it is one of the founder's own beliefs, and as it gives a permanent and forceful basis for ethics it is really the most important of all the Theosophical doctrines.

Path, December, 1892William Brehon


OUR brother George R. S. Mead, the General Secretary of the European Section T.S., has held that whether or not Origen, the greatest of the Fathers, believed in reincarnation, the Christian Church never formally anathematized the doctrine. If this position is sound there will yet be an opportunity for the Roman Church to declare the doctrine by holding that the anathema pronounced was against a species of incarnation or of metempsychosis not very clearly defined except as a pre-existence of the soul as opposed to a special creation for each new body. This declaration can only be made by placing the future lives of the soul on some other planet after leaving this one. That would be reincarnation, but not as we understand it.

The issue of Lucifer for February has valuable contributions under "Notes and Queries" on this subject, and from that I extract something. Beausobre says:

It is a very ancient and general belief that souls are pure and heavenly substances which exist before their bodies and come down from heaven to clothe and animate them. . . . I only quote it to show that his nation (Jews) believed for a long time back in the pre-existence of souls. . . . All the most learned Greek fathers held this opinion, and a considerable portion of the Latin fathers followed them herein. . . . It has been held by several Christian philosophers. It was received into the Church until the fourth century without being obnoxious to the charge of heresy.

Beausobre, however, calls the belief an "error." It would be interesting to know whether it is not the fact that at about the fourth century the monks and bishops were ignorant men who would be more likely to take up a narrow dogma necessary for preservation of their power than to hold the broader and grander one of pre-existence. Origen died about A.D. 254. He was so great and learned that even in his lifetime other men forged his name to their own writings. But while he was


still living uneducated monks were flocking into the ranks of the priesthood. They obtained enough strength to compel Jerome to turn against Origen, although previously holding similar views. It was not learning, then, nor spiritual knowledge that brought about the subsequent condemnation of Origen, but rather bigotry and unspiritual ignorance. Origen distinctly held as a fundamental idea "the original and indestructible unity of God and all spiritual essences." This is precisely the doctrine of the Isovasya Upanishad, which says:

When to a man who understands, the Self has become all things, what sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who once beheld that unity?

Franck’s Kabbala is referred to in these answers as saying that Origen taught transmigration as a necessary doctrine for the explaining of the vicissitudes of life and the inequalities of birth. But the next quotation throws doubt again into the question, closing, however, thus:

When the soul comes into the world it leaves the body which had been necessary to it in the mother’s womb, it leaves, I repeat, the body which covered it, and puts on another body fit for the life we lead on earth. . . . But as we do not believe in metempsychosis, nor that the soul can ever be debased so as to enter into the bodies of brute animals. . .

There are several ways of looking at this. It may be charged that some one interpolated the italicized words; or that Origen was referring to transmigrating back to animals; or, lastly, that he and his learned friends had a theory about incarnation and reincarnation not clearly given. My opinion is that he wrote as above simply as to retrograde rebirth, and that he held the very identical doctrine as to reincarnation found in Isis Unveiled and which caused it to be charged that H.P.B. did not know or teach reincarnation in 1877. Of course I cannot produce a quotation. But how could such a voluminous writer and deep thinker as Origen hold to the doctrines of unity with God, of the final restoration of all souls to pristine purity, and of pre-existence, without also having a reincarnation doctrine? There are many indications and statements that there was an esoteric teaching on these subjects, just as it is evident that Jesus had his private teaching for the select


disciples. For that reason Origen might teach pre-existence but hold back the other. He says, according to Franck, that the question was not of metempsychosis according to Plato, "but of an entirely different theory which is of a far more elevated nature." It might have been this.

The soul, considered as spirit and not animal soul, is pure, of the essence of God, and desirous of immortality through a person; the person may fail and not be united to the soul; another and another person is selected; each one, if a failure in respect to union with the Self, passes into the sum of experience; but finally a personal birth is found wherein all former experiences are united and union gained. From thenceforward there is no more falling back, for immortality through a person has been attained. Prior to this great event the soul existed, and hence the doctrine of pre-existence. For all of the personal births the soul was the God, the Higher Self of each, the luminous one, the Augoeides; existing thus from all time, it might be the cause of rebirths but not itself be reincarnated, as it merely overshadowed each birth without being wholly in the flesh. Such a doctrine, extremely mystical and providing for each a personal God with a great possibility held out through reunion, could well be called by Origen "a different theory" from metempsychosis and "of more elevated character."

When once more the modern Christian Church admits that its founders believed in pre-existence and that Jesus did not condemn reincarnation, a long step will have been taken toward uprooting many intolerant and illogical doctrines now held.

Path, May, 1894William Q. Judge


THE fundamental doctrines of Theosophy are of no value unless they are applied to daily life. To the extent to which this application goes they become living truths, quite different from intellectual expressions of doctrine. The mere intellectual grasp may result in spiritual pride, while the living doctrine becomes an entity through the mystic power of the human soul. Many great minds have dwelt on this. Saint Paul wrote:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

The Voice of the Silence, expressing the views of the highest schools of occultism, asks us to step out of the sunlight into the shade so as to make more room for others, and declares that those whom we help in this life will help us in our next one.

Buttresses to these are the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation. The first shows that we must reap what we sow, and the second that we come back in the company of those with whom we lived and acted in other lives. St. Paul was in complete accord with all other occultists, and his expressions above given must be viewed in the light Theosophy throws on all similar writings. Contrasted with charity, which is love of our fellows, are all the possible virtues and acquirements. These are all nothing if charity be absent. Why? Because they die with the death of the uncharitable person; their value is naught, and that being is reborn without friend and without capacity.

This is of the highest importance to the earnest Theosophist, who may be making the mistake of obtaining intellectual bene-


fits, but remains uncharitable. The fact that we are now working in the Theosophical movement means that we did so in other lives, must do so again, and, still more important, that those who are now with us will be reincarnated in our company on our next rebirth.

Shall those whom we now know or whom we are destined to know before this life ends be our friends or enemies, our aiders or obstructors in that coming life? And what will make them hostile or friendly to us then? Not what we shall say or do to and for them in the future life. For no man becomes your friend in a present life by reason of present acts alone. He was your friend, or you his, before in a previous life. Your present acts but revive the old friendship, renew the ancient obligation.

Was he your enemy before, he will be now even though you do him service now, for these tendencies last always more than three lives. They will be more and still more our aids if we increase the bond of friendship of today by charity. Their tendency to enmity will be one-third lessened in every life if we persist in kindness, in love, in charity now. And that charity is not a gift of money, but charitable thought for every weakness, to every failure.

Our future friends or enemies, then, are those who are with us and to be with us in the present. If they are those who now seem inimical, we make a grave mistake and only put off the day of reconciliation three more lives if we allow ourselves today to be deficient in charity for them. We are annoyed and hindered by those who actively oppose as well as others whose mere looks, temperament, and unconscious action fret and disturb us. Our code of justice to ourselves, often but petty personality, incites us to rebuke them, to criticise, to attack. It is a mistake for us to so act. Could we but glance ahead to next life, we would see these for whom we now have but scant charity crossing the plain of that life with ourselves and ever in our way, always hiding the light from us. But change our present attitude, and that new life to come would show these bores and partial enemies and obstructors helping us,


aiding our every effort. For Karma may give them then greater opportunities than ourselves and better capacity.

Is any Theosophist, who reflects on this, so foolish as to continue now, if he has the power to alter himself, a course that will breed a crop of thorns for his next life's reaping? We should continue our charity and kindness to our friends whom it is easy to wish to help, but for those whom we naturally dislike, who are our bores now, we ought to take especial pains to aid and carefully toward them cultivate a feeling of love and charity. This adds interest to our Karmic investment. The opposite course, as surely as sun rises and water runs down hill, strikes interest from the account and enters a heavy item on the wrong side of life's ledger.

And especially should the whole Theosophical organization act on the lines laid down by St. Paul and The Voice of the Silence. For Karmic tendency is an unswerving law. It compels us to go on in this movement of thought and doctrine; it will bring back to reincarnation all in it now. Sentiment cannot move the law one inch; and though that emotion might seek to rid us of the presence of these men and women we presently do not fancy or approve―and there are many such in our ranks for every one―the law will place us again in company with friendly tendency increased or hostile feeling diminished, just as we now create the one or prevent the other. It was the aim of the founders of the Society to arouse tendency to future friendship; it ought to be the object of all our members.

What will you have? In the future life, enemies or friends?

Path, January, 1893Eusebio Urban


OBJECTIONS frequently raised against "Reincarnation," and that appear to those who make them to be strong, are some growing out of the emotional part of our nature. They say, "We do not wish to be some one else in another life; how can we recognize our friends and loved ones if they and we thus change our personality? The absorbing attachments we form here are such that happiness would seem impossible without those we love."

It is useless to say in reply that, if Reincarnation be the law, it can and will make no difference what we would like or dislike. So long as one is governed by his likes and dislikes, logical arguments will not dissipate objections, and, if it is coldly asserted that the beloved objects of our affection pass at death forever beyond us, no relief is afforded to the mind nor is a strictly accurate statement made. In fact, one of the miseries of conditioned existence is the apparent liability of forever losing those upon whom we place our hearts. So to meet this difficulty raised by ever present death, the christian churches have invented their heaven in which reunion is possible under a condition, the acceptance of the dogma of the Redeemer. None of their believers seem to consider that, inasmuch as constantly many of those most closely bound to us by every tie do not and never will meet the prerequisite condition, happiness in that heaven cannot be possible when we constantly are aware that those unbelievers are suffering in hell, for, enough memory being left to permit us to recognize believing friends, we cannot forget the others. Greater than ever, then, that difficulty becomes.

What are these loves? must be asked. They are either (a) a love for the mere physical body, or (b) one for the soul within. Of course in the first case, the body being disintegrated at death, it is not possible for us, nor need we wish―


unless we are grossly materialistic―to see that in the other life. And personality belongs only to the body. Hence, if the soul that we do love inhabits another physical frame, it is the law―a part of the law of Reincarnation not often stated or dwelt on―that we will again, when incarnated, meet that same soul in the new tenement. We cannot, however, always recognize it. But that, the recognition or memory of those whom we knew before, is one of the very objects of our study and practice. Not only is this the law as found in ancient books, but it has been positively stated, in the history of the Theosophical Society, in a letter from an Adept addressed not many years ago to some London theosophists. In it he asked them if they imagined that they were together as incarnated beings for the first time, stated that they were not, and laid down the rule that the real affinities of soul life drew them together on earth.

To be associated against our will with those who lay upon us the claim of mother, father, brother, son, or wife from a previous life would neither be just nor necessary. Those relations, as such, grew out of physical ties alone, and souls that are alike, who really love each other, as well as those who harbor hate, are brought together in mortal bodies as now father and now son―, or otherwise.

So, then, with the doctrine of Devachan we have the answer. In that state we have with us, for all practical purposes and to suit our desire, every one whom we loved on earth: upon being reincarnated we are again with those whose souls we are naturally attracted to.

By living up to the highest and best of our convictions, for humanity and not for self, we make it possible that we shall at last recognize in some earth-life those persons whom we love, and to lose whom forever seems such a dreary and uninviting prospect.

Path, August, 1888


IT has been suggested to the PATH that theosophists jot down as they occur any arguments hit upon to support the doctrine of reincarnation. One furnishes this: That the persistency of individual character and attitude of mind seems a strong argument; and adduces the fact that when he was a youth thirty years ago he wrote a letter to himself upon questions about God, nature, and the inner man, and finds now upon re-reading it that it almost exactly expresses his present attitude. Also he thinks that the inner character of each shows itself in early youth, persisting through life; and as each character is different there must have been reincarnation to account for the differences. And that the assertion that differences in character are due to heredity seems to be disposed of by the persistency of essential character, even if, as we know to be the case, scientists did not begin to deny the sufficiency of heredity to account for our differences.

Another writes: If heredity would account for that which, existing in our life, makes us feel that we have lived here before, then the breeding of dogs and horses would show similar great differences as are observed in men. But a high-bred slut will bring forth a litter of pups by a father of equal breed, all exhibiting one character, whereas in the very highest bred families among men it is well known that the children will differ from each other so much that we cannot rely upon the result. Then again, considering the objections raised on ground of heredity, it should not be forgotten that but small attention has been paid to those cases where heredity will not give the explanation.

Inherent differences of character. The great differences in capacity seem to call for reincarnation as the explanation. Notice that the savages have the same brains and bodies as ours, yet not the same character or intelligence; they seem to be unprogressed egos who are unable to make the machine of brain to respond to its highest limit.

Path, August, 1891


A Theosophist's Reason for it

IN our own times we have instances of the disappearance of races, and very often it is attributed to the influence of civilized vices. The Hottentots have entirely gone, and the decimation of the Hawaiian Islanders is about complete. Similarly the Red Indians of the Continents of North and South America have been surely, if slowly, passing away, so that now there is only a remnant of them left, and soon after the Spanish conquest the great masses of the aboriginal inhabitants had faded away.

The Hottentots had reached almost the acme of decline when we knew them, but the Aztecs, Toltecs, and other South Americans had not reached such a pitch when they encountered the Spanish. The Red Indians had gone down between the two, while the Hawaiians were still below the Indians. It has always seemed to me that the claim that these races were destroyed by taking up our vices is not well founded. It is pleasant, perhaps, to the pessimist who dislikes this civilization, but it will not agree with all the facts. The decrease of population in the Hawaiian Islands cannot be justly attributed to rum and social evils taken over from us, although a great deal of injury no doubt arose from those abuses. About the Hottentots we may feel pretty sure, because their degradation was almost complete when they were discovered, and the Mexicans and South American people had no time to adopt Spanish vices, nor did such exist in a degree to kill off the inhabitants.

The theory outlined by H. P. Blavatsky is that when the Egos inhabiting any race have reached the limit of experience possible in it, they begin to desert that race environment and seek for another, which, in the sure processes of nature’s evolution, is certain to be in existence elsewhere on the globe. The


Egos then having left the old families, the latter begin to die out through sterility attacking the females, so that fewer and fewer bodies are made for inhabitancy. This goes on from century to century pari passu with mental decay. And this mental deterioration arises from the fact that the small stock of what we might call the retarded Egos who come in during the process have not had the experience and training in that particular environment which had been gone through by those who have deserted to another race, and hence―on the theosophical theory that brain is not the producer of mind―the whole personnel of the old race rushes down in the scale, sooner or later presenting the sad spectacle of a dying race. Final extinction is the result when the process has gone far enough.

At the time when the first steps toward old age and decrepitude are taken by such a race, the eternal cyclic laws that always bring about a universal correspondence between the affairs of man and the operations of cosmos cause cataclysms to happen, and even in the seeming height of a nation's power great numbers of bodies are destroyed. Some indications of this may be seen in our own day in the great destruction of human life that has begun to overtake the older portions of the Chinese nation. These are finger posts that declare the beginning of the exodus of the Egos who have had such a long experience in that race environment that they have begun to emigrate elsewhere because their experience has wrought in their character changes which unfit them for dealing with the old bodies, and those are left for the starting of other less progressed men. After the lapse of more years the natural cataclysms will increase in violence and extent, engulfing more and more millions of bodies and preparing for other cycles.

We may suppose that the Red Indians predecessors went through similar experiences, for there are in the Americas evidences of great convulsions such as upheavals from below and overflowing by water that deposited great masses of mud. In one of the States there was lately found good evidence that animals had been thus buried for ages. The men, having


reason to guide them, removed themselves to other parts to carry out the sad decrees of Karma which had ordered their demise. And under the suggestion made above, the egos untried in that environment only occupied the racial body for the sake of the experience which might be gained during the time that is left. Now our civilization with weapons and other means is completing the work, as it on its part fulfils the law by creating on the old soil an entirely new race in which the experience gained by the mind in prior cycles of existence may show itself forth.

This process is almost exactly that which happens in families. Reincarnating egos continue in families that suit their mental progress just so long as is needed; and if no more egos are in the cycle of rebirth exactly fitted to the physical, psychical, and mental state of the family, it begins to die out. And it even exhibits often in its own small way the phenomena of natural cataclysm, for we know that sudden ruin and quick extinction often carry off an entire family, leaving not even a descendant in the very remotest degree.

Hence I conclude that, like families, Races disappear when they are of no further use in the gaining of experience by the great pilgrim soul.

Path, October, 1891William Q. Judge


VERY little has been said on the question whether or not the theory of Reincarnation applies to animals in the same way as to man. Doubtless, if Brahman members well acquainted with Sanscrit works on the general subject were to publish their views, we should at least have a large mass of material for thought and find many clues to the matter in the Hindu theories and allegories. Even Hindu folk-lore would suggest much. Under all popular "superstitions" a large element of truth can be found hidden away when the vulgar notion is examined in the light of the Wisdom-Religion. A good instance of this on the material plane is to be found in the new treatment proposed for small-pox. The old superstition was that all patients with that disease must be treated and kept in darkness. But the practise was given up by modern doctors. Recently, however, some one had the usual "flash" and decided that perhaps the chemical rays of the sun had something to do with the matter, and began to try red glass for all windows where small-pox patients were. Success was reported, the theory being that the disease was one where the chemical rays injured the skin and health just as they do in ordinary sunburn. Here we see, if the new plan be found right, that an old superstition was based on a law of nature. In the same way the folk-lore of such an ancient people as the Hindu deserves scrutiny with the object of discovering the buried truth. If they are possessed of such notions regarding the fate of animals, careful analysis might give valuable suggestion.

Looking at the question in the light of Theosophical theories, we see that a wide distinction exists between man and animals. Man reincarnates as man because he has got to the top of the present scale of evolution. He cannot go back, for Manas is too much developed. He has a Devachan because he is a


conscious thinker. Animals cannot have Manas so much developed, and so cannot be self-conscious in the sense that man is. Besides all this, the animal kingdom, being lower, has the impulse still to rise to higher forms. But here we have the distinct statement by the Adepts through H.P.B. that while possibly animals may rise higher in their own kingdom they cannot in this evolution rise to the human stage, as we have reached the middle or turning-point in the fourth round. On this point H.P.B. has, in the second volume of the Secret Doctrine (first ed.) at p. 196, a foot note as follows:

In calling the animals "Soulless," it is not depriving the beast, from the humblest to the highest species, of a "soul," but only of a conscious surviving Ego-soul, i.e., that principle which survives after a man and reincarnates in a like man.

The animal has an astral body that survives the physical form for a short period; but its (animal) Monad does not reincarnate in the same, but in a higher species, and has no "Devachan" of course. It has the seeds of all the human principles in itself, but they are latent.

Here the distinction above adverted to is made. It is due to the Ego-Soul, that is, to Manas with Buddhi and Atma. Those principles being latent in the animal, and the door to the human kingdom being closed, they may rise to higher species but not to the man stage. Of course also it is not meant that no dog or other animal ever reincarnates as dog, but that the monad has tendency to rise to a higher species, whatever that be, whenever it has passed beyond the necessity for further experience as "dog." Under the position the author assumes it would be natural to suppose that the astral form of the animal did not last long, as she says, and hence that astral appearances or apparitions of animals were not common. Such is the fact. I have heard of a few, but very few, cases where a favorite animal made an apparitional appearance after death, but even the prolific field of spiritualism has not many instances of the kind. And those who have learned about the astral world know that human beings assume in that world the form of animal or other things which they in character most resemble, and that this sort of apparition is not confined to the dead but is more common among the living. It is by such


signs that clairvoyants know the very life and thought of the person before them. It was under the operation of this law that Swedenborg saw so many curious things in his time.

The objection based on the immense number of animals both alive and dead as calling for a supply of monads in that stage can be met in this way. While it is stated that no more animal monads can enter on the man-stage, it is not said nor inferred that the incoming supply of monads for the animal kingdom has stopped. They may still be coming in from other worlds for evolution among the animals of this globe. There is nothing impossible in it, and it will supply the answer to the question, Where do the new animal monads come from, supposing that all the present ones have exhausted the whole number of higher species possible here? It is quite possible also that the animal monads may be carried on to other members of the earth-chain in advance of man for the purpose of necessary development, and this would lessen the number of their appearances here. For what keeps man here so long is that the power of his thought is so great as to make a Devachan for all lasting some fifteen centuries―with exceptions―and for a number who desire "heaven" a Devachan of enormous length. The animals, however, being devoid of developed Manas, have no Devachan and must be forced onwards to the next planet in the chain. This would be consistent and useful, as it gives them a chance for development in readiness for the time when the monads of that kingdom shall begin to rise to a new human kingdom. They will have lost nothing, but, on the contrary, will be the gainers.

Path, April, 1894William Brehon


IS there any foundation for the doctrine of transmigration of souls which was once believed in and is now held by some classes of Hindus?" is a question sent to the PATH.

From a careful examination of the Vedas and Upanishads it will be found that the ancient Hindus did not believe in this doctrine, but held, as so many theosophists do, that "once a man, always a man," but of course there is the exception of the case where men live bad lives persistently for ages. But it also seems very clear that the later Brahmins, for the purpose of having a priestly hold on the people or for other purposes, taught them the doctrine that they and their parents might go after death into the bodies of animals, but I doubt if the theory is held to such an extent as to make it a national doctrine. Some missionaries and travelers have hastily concluded that it is the belief because they saw the Hindu and the Jain alike acting very carefully as to animals and insects, avoiding them in the path, carefully brushing insects out of the way at a great loss of time, so as to not step on them. This, said the missionary, is because they think that in these forms their dead friends or relatives may be living.

The real reason for such care is that they think they have no right to destroy life which it is not in their power to restore. While I have some views on the subject of transmigration of a certain sort that I am not now disposed to disclose, I may be allowed to give others on the question "How might such an idea arise out of the true doctrine?"

First, what is the fate of the astral body, and in what way and how much does that affect the next incarnation of the man? Second, what influence has man on the atoms, millions in number, which from year to year enter into the composition of his body, and how far is he―the soul―responsible for


those effects and answerable for them in a subsequent life of joy or sorrow or opportunity or obscurity? These are important questions.

The student of the theosophic scheme admits that after death the astral soul either dies and dissipates at once, or remains wandering for a space in Kama Loca. If the man was spiritual, or what is sometimes called "very good," then his astral soul dissipates soon; if he was wicked and material, then the astral part of him, being too gross to easily disintegrate, is condemned, as it were, to flit about in Kama Loca, manifesting itself in spiritualistic séance rooms as the spirit of some deceased one, and doing damage to the mental furniture of mortals while it suffers other pains itself. Seers of modem times have declared that such eidolons or spooks assume the appearance of beasts or reptiles according to their dominant characteristics. The ancients sometimes taught that these gross astral forms, having a natural affinity for the lower types, such as the animal kingdom, gravitated gradually in that direction and were at last absorbed on the astral plane of animals, for which they furnished the sidereal particles needed by them as well as by man. But this in no sense meant that the man himself went into an animal, for before this result had eventuated the ego might have already re-entered life with a new physical and astral body. The common people, however, could not make these distinctions, and so very easily held the doctrine as meaning that the man became an animal. After a time the priests and seers took up this form of the tenet and taught it outright. It can be found in the Desatir, where it is said that tigers and other ferocious animals are incarnations of wicked men, and so on. But it must be true that each man is responsible and accountable for the fate of his astral body left behind at death, since that fate results directly from the man’s own acts and life.

Considering the question of the atoms in their march along the path of evolution, another cause for a belief wrongly held in transmigration into lower forms can be found. The initiates could teach and thoroughly understand how it is that


each ego is responsible for the use he makes of the atoms in space, and how each may and does imprint a definite character and direction upon all the atoms used throughout life, but the uninitiated just as easily would misinterpret this also and think it referred to transmigration. Each man has a duty not only to himself but also to the atoms in use. He is the great, the highest educator of them. Being each instant in possession of some, and likewise ever throwing them off, he should so live that they gain a fresh impulse to the higher life of man as compared with the brute. This impress and impulse given by us either confer an affinity for human bodies and brains, or for that which, corresponding to brutal lives and base passions, belongs to the lower kingdoms. So the teachers inculcated this, and said that if the disciple lived a wicked life his atoms would be precipitated down instead of up in this relative scale. If he was dull and inattentive, the atoms similarly impressed travelled into sticks and stones. In each case they to some extent represented the man, just as our surroundings, furniture, and clothing generally represent us who collect and use them. So from both these true tenets the people might at last come to believe in transmigration as being a convenient and easy way of formulating the problem and of indicating a rule of conduct.

Path, March, 1891Hadji


BEFORE the flashing diamond in the mysterious mountain behind the Temple began to lose its brilliance, many foreigners had visited the Island. Among them were students who came from Persia. Coming that great distance they sought more knowledge, as in their own land the truth was already beginning to be forgotten. It was hidden under a thick crust of fanciful interpretations of the sayings of their sages which were fast turning into superstitious notions. And these young men thought that in the Island, the fame of which had spread over land and sea, they would find learning and wisdom and the way to power. But yet while in such a frame of mind, they regarded some things as settled even for sages. What they said did not have much influence on me until they began to quote some of the old writings from the prophets of their country, attempting to prove that men, though god-like and immortal, transmigrated sometimes backwards into beasts and birds and insects. As some old Buddhist monks had years before given out the same idea with hints of mystery underneath, the sayings of these visitors began to trouble me. They quoted these verses from the prophet the Great Abad:

Those who, in the season of prosperity, experience pain and grief, suffer them on account of their words or deeds in a former body, for which the Most Just now punisheth them.

Whosoever is an evil doer, on him He first inflicteth pain under the human form; for sickness, the sufferings of children while in their mother’s womb, and after they are out of it, and suicide, and being hurt by ravenous animals, and death, and being subjected to want from birth till death, are all retributions for past actions; and in like manner as to goodness.

The lion, the tiger, the leopard, the panther, . . . with all ravenous animals, whether birds or quadrupeds or creeping things, have once possessed authority: and every one whom they kill hath been their aider or abetter, who did evil by supporting, or assisting, or by the orders of, that exalted class; and having given pain to harmless animals are now punished by their own masters.


The horse submits to be ridden on, and the ox, the camel, the mule, and the ass bear burdens. And these in a former life were men who imposed burdens on others unjustly.

Such persons as are foolish and evil doers, being enclosed in the body of vegetables, meet with the reward of their stupidity and misdeeds. And such as possess illaudable knowledge and do evil are enclosed in the body of minerals until their sins be purified; after which they are delivered from this suffering, and are once more united to a human body; and according as they act in it they again meet with retribution.

These young men made such good arguments of these texts, and dwelt so strongly upon the great attainments of Abad, who was beyond doubt a prophet of insight, that doubts arose in my mind. While the verses did not deny the old doctrine of man's reincarnation, they added a new view to the matter that had never suggested itself to me before. The students pointed out that there was a very wise and consistent doctrine in those verses wherein it was declared that murderers, tyrants, and such men would be condemned to inhabit the bodies of such murderous beasts as lions and tigers. They made out a strong case on the other verses also, showing that those weak but vicious men who had aided and abetted the stronger and more violent murderers should be condemned to precipitation out of the human cycle into the bodies of defenseless animals, in company with ferocious beasts, by the strength and ferocity of which they would at last be destroyed themselves. And thus, said these visitors, they proceed in each other's company, lower and lower in the scale of organized life, reaching at last those kingdoms of nature like the mineral, where differentiation in the direction of man is not yet visible. And from there the condemned beings would be ground out into the great mass and slime at the very bottom of nature's ladder.

Not wishing to admit or accept these doctrines from strangers, I engaged in many arguments with them on the matter, until at last they left the Island to continue their pilgrimage.

So one day, being troubled in mind about these sayings of Abad, which, indeed, I heard from the students were accepted in many countries and given by several other prophets, I sought out the old man who so often before had solved prob-


lems for me. He was a man of sorrow, for although possessor of power and able to open up the inner planes of nature, able to give to a questioner the inner sight for a time so that one could see for himself the real truth of material things, something ever went with him that spoke of a sorrow he could not tell about. Perhaps he was suffering for a fault the magnitude of which no one knew but himself; perhaps the final truths eluded him; or maybe he had a material belief at bottom. But he was always kind, and ever ready to give me the help I needed provided I had tried myself in every way and failed to obtain it.

"Brother," I said, "do we go into animals when we die?" "Who said that we do?" was his answer.

"It is declared by the old prophet Abad of the Worshippers of Fire that we thus fall down from our high estate gained with pain and difficulty."

"Do you believe it; have you reasoned it out or accepted the doctrine?"

"No," I said, "I have not accepted it. Much as I may reason on it, there are defects in my replies, for there seems to be consistency in the doctrine that the ferocious may go into the ferocious and vicious into the wild animals; the one destroying the other and man, the hunter, killing the ferocious. Can you solve it?"

Turning on me the deep and searching gaze he used for those who asked when he would determine if curiosity alone moved them, he said, "I will show you the facts and the corrupted doctrine together, on the night of the next full moon."

Patiently I waited for the moon to grow, wondering, supposing that the moon must be connected with the question, because we were said to have come by the way of the moon like a flock of birds who migrated north or south according to their nature. At last the day came and I went to the old man. He was ready. Turning from the room he took me to a small cave near the foot of the Diamond Mountain. The light of the diamond seemed to illuminate the sky as we paused at the entrance. We went in by the short passage in front,


and here, where I had never been before, soft footfalls of invisible beings seemed to echo as if they were retreating before us, and half-heard whispers floated by us out into the night. But I had no fear. Those footfalls, though strange, had no malice, and such faint and melodious whispering aroused no alarm. He went to the side of the cave so that we looked at the other side. The passage had a sharp turn near the inner entrance, and no light fell around us. Thus we waited in silence for some time.

"Look quietly toward the opposite wall," said the old man, "and waver not in thought." Fixing an unstrained gaze in the direction of the other side, it soon seemed to quiver, then an even vibration began across it until it looked like a tumbling mass of clouds. This soon settled into a grey flat surface like a painter's canvas, that was still as the clear sky and seemingly transparent. It gave us light and made no reflection.

"Think of your question, of your doubts, and of the young students who have raised them; think not of Abad, for he is but a name," whispered my guide.

Then, as I revolved the question, a cloud arose on the surface before me; it moved, it grew into shapes that were dim at first. They soon became those of human beings. They were the living pictures of my student friends. They were conversing, and I too was there but less plain than they. But instead of atmosphere being around them they were surrounded with ether, and streams of ether full of what I took to be corporeal atoms in a state of change continually rushed from one to the other. After I had accustomed my sight to this, the old man directed me to look at one of the students in particular. From him the stream of ether loaded with atoms, very dark in places and red in others, did not always run to his fellows, but seemed to be absorbed elsewhere. Then when I had fixed this in my mind all the other students faded from the space, their place taken by some ferocious beasts that prowled around the remaining student, though still appearing to be a long distance from him. And then I saw that the stream of atoms


from him was absorbed by those dreadful beasts, at the same time that a mask fell off, as it were, from his face, showing me his real ferocious, murderous mind.

"He killed a man on the way, in secret. He is a murderer at heart," said my guide. "This is the truth that Abad meant to tell. Those atoms fly from all of us at every instant. They seek their appropriate center; that which is similar to the character of him who evolves them. We absorb from our fellows whatever is like unto us. It is thus that man reincarnates in the lower kingdoms. He is the lord of nature, the key, the focus, the highest concentrator of nature's laboratory. And the atoms he condemns to fall thus to beasts will return to him in some future life for his detriment or his sorrow. But he, as immortal man, cannot fall. That which falls is the lower, the personal, the atomic. He is the brother and teacher of all below him. See that you do not hinder and delay all nature by your failure in virtue."

Then the ugly picture faded out and a holy man, named in the air in gold "Abad," took his place. From him the stream of atoms, full of his virtue, his hopes, aspirations, and the impression of his knowledge and power, flowed out to other Sages, to disciples, to the good in every land. They even fell upon the unjust and the ferocious, and then thoughts of virtue, of peace, of harmony grew up where those streams flowed. The picture faded, the cloudy screen vibrated and rolled away. We were again in the lonely cave. Faint footfalls echoed round the walls, and soft whispers as of peace and hope trembled through the air.

Path, October, 1892Bryan Kinnavan


THE child is the father of the man, and none the less true is it:

My brothers! each man’s life
The outcome of his former living is;
The bygone wrongs bring forth sorrows and woes
The bygone right breeds bliss. . . .

"This is the doctrine of Karma." But in what way does this bygone wrong and right affect the present life? Is the stern nemesis ever following the weary traveler, with a calm, passionless, remorseless step? Is there no escape from its relentless hand? Does the eternal law of cause and effect, unmoved by sorrow and regret, ever deal out its measure of weal and woe as the consequence of past action? The shadow of the yesterday of sin―must it darken the life of today? Is Karma but another name for fate? Does the child unfold the page of the already written book of life in which each event is recorded without the possibility of escape? What is the relation of Karma to the life of the individual? Is there nothing for man to do but to weave the chequered warp and woof of each earthly existence with the stained and discolored threads of past actions? Good resolves and evil tendencies sweep with resistless tide over the nature of man and we are told:

"Whatever action he performs, whether good or bad, every thing done in a former body must necessarily be enjoyed or suffered." Anugita, Cp. III.

There is good Karma, there is bad Karma, and as the


wheel of life moves on, old Karma is exhausted and again fresh Karma is accumulated.

Although at first it may appear that nothing can be more fatalistic than this doctrine, yet a little consideration will show that in reality this is not the case. Karma is twofold, hidden and manifest, Karma is the man that is, Karma is his action. True that each action is a cause from which evolves the countless ramifications of effect in time and space.

"That which ye sow ye reap." In some sphere of action the harvest will be gathered. It is necessary that the man of action should realize this truth. It is equally necessary that the manifestations of this law in the operations of Karma should be clearly apprehended.

Karma, broadly speaking, may be said to be the continuance of the nature of the act, and each act contains within itself the past and future. Every defect which can be realized from an act must be implicit in the act itself or it could never come into existence. Effect is but the nature of the act and cannot exist distinct from its cause.

Karma only produces the manifestation of that which already exists; being action it has its operation in time, and Karma may therefore be said to be the same action from another point of time. It must, moreover, be evident that not only is there a relation between the cause and the effect, but there must also be a relation between the cause and the individual who experiences the effect. If it were otherwise, any man would reap the effect of the actions of any other man. We may sometimes appear to reap the effects of the action of others, but this is only apparent. In point of fact it is our own action.

. . .None else compels
None other holds you that ye live and die.

It is therefore necessary in order to understand the nature of Karma and its relation to the individual to consider action in all its aspects. Every act proceeds from the mind. Beyond the mind there is no action and therefore no Karma. The basis of every act is desire. The plane of desire or egotism is


itself action and the matrix of every act. This plane may be considered as non-manifest, yet having a dual manifestation in what we call cause and effect, that is, the act and its consequences. In reality, both the act and its consequences are the effect, the cause being on the plane of desire. Desire is therefore the basis of action in its first manifestation on the physical plane, and desire determines the continuation of the act in its karmic relation to the individual. For a man to be free from the effects of the Karma of any act he must have passed to a state no longer yielding a basis in which that act can inhere. The ripples in the water caused by the action of the stone will extend to the furthest limit of its expanse, but no further; they are bounded by the shore. Their course is ended when there is no longer a basis or suitable medium in which they can inhere; they expend their force and are not. Karma is, therefore, as dependent upon the present personality for its fulfillment, as it was upon the former for the first initial act. An illustration may be given which will help to explain this.

A seed, say for instance mustard, will produce a mustard tree and nothing else; but in order that it should be produced, it is necessary that the co-operation of soil and culture should be equally present. Without the seed, however much the ground may be tilled and watered, it will not bring forth the plant, but the seed is equally in-operative without the joint action of the soil and culture.

The first great result of Karmic action is the incarnation in physical life. The birth-seeking entity consisting of desires and tendencies, presses forward towards incarnation. It is governed in the selection of its scene of manifestation by the law of economy. Whatever is the ruling tendency, that is to say, whatever group of affinities is strongest, those affinities will lead it to the point of manifestation at which there is the least opposition. It incarnates in those surroundings most in harmony with its Karmic tendencies and all the effects of actions contained in the Karma so manifesting will be experienced by the individual. This governs the station of life, the sex, the


conditions of the irresponsible years of childhood, the constitution with the various diseases inherent in it, and in fact all those determining forces of physical existence which are ordinarily classed under the terms, "heredity," and "national characteristics."

It is really the law of economy which is the truth underlying these terms and which explains them. Take for instance a nation with certain special characteristics. These are the plane of expansion for any entity whose greatest number of affinities are in harmony with those characteristics. The incoming entity following the law of least resistance becomes incarnated in that nation, and all Karmic effects following such characteristics will accrue to the individual. This will explain what is the meaning of such expressions as the "Karma of nations," and what is true of the nation will also apply to family and caste.

It must, however, be remembered that there are many tendencies which are not exhausted in the act of incarnation. It may happen that the Karma which caused an entity to incarnate in any particular surrounding, was only strong enough to carry it into physical existence. Being exhausted in that direction, freedom is obtained for the manifestation of other tendencies and their Karmic effects. For instance, Karmic force may cause an entity to incarnate in a humble sphere of life. He may be born as the child of poor parents. The Karma follows the entity, endures for a longer or shorter time, and becomes exhausted. From that point, the child takes a line of life totally different from his surroundings. Other affinities engendered by former action express themselves in their Karmic results. The lingering effect of the past Karma may still manifest itself in the way of obstacles and obstructions which are surmounted with varying degrees of success according to their intensity.

From the standpoint of a special creation for each entity entering the world, there is vast and unaccountable injustice. From the standpoint of Karma, the strange vicissitudes and


apparent chances of life can be considered in a different light as the unerring manifestation of cause and sequence. In a family under the same conditions of poverty and ignorance, one child will be separated from the others and thrown into surroundings very dissimilar. He may be adopted by a rich man, or through some freak of fortune receive an education giving him at once a different position. The Karma of incarnation being exhausted, other Karma asserts itself.

A very important question is here presented: Can an individual affect his own Karma, and if so to what degree and in what manner?

It has been said that Karma is the continuance of the act, and for any particular line of Karma to exert itself it is necessary that there should be the basis of the act engendering that Karma in which it can inhere and operate. But action has many planes in which it can inhere. There is the physical plane, the body with its senses and organs; then there is the intellectual plane, memory, which binds the impressions of the senses into a consecutive whole and reason puts in orderly arrangement its storehouse of facts. Beyond the plane of intellect there is the plane of emotion, the plane of preference for one object rather than another:―the fourth principle of the man. These three, physical, intellectual, and emotional, deal entirely with objects of sense perception and may be called the great battlefield of Karma.1 There is also the plane of ethics, the plane of discrimination of the "I ought to do this, I ought not to do that." This plane harmonizes the intellect and the emotions. All these are the planes of Karma or action: what to do, and what not to do. It is the mind as the basis of desire that initiates action on the various planes, and it is only through the mind that the effects of rest and action can be received.

An entity enters incarnation with Karmic energy from past existences, that is to say the action of past lives is awaiting its development as effect. This Karmic energy presses into mani-

1 See Bhagavad-Gita where the whole poem turns upon the conflict in this battlefield, which is called the "sacred plain of Kurukshetra," meaning, the "body which is acquired by Karma." (ED.)


festation in harmony with the basic nature of the act. Physical Karma will manifest in the physical tendencies bringing enjoyment and suffering. The intellectual and the ethical planes are also in the same manner the result of the past Karmic tendencies and the man as he is, with his moral and intellectual faculties, is in unbroken continuity with the past.

The entity at birth has therefore a definite amount of Karmic energy. After incarnation this awaits the period in life at which fresh Karma begins. Up to the time of responsibility it is as we have seen the initial Karma only that manifests. From that time the fresh personality becomes the ruler of his own destiny. It is a great mistake to suppose that an individual is the mere puppet of the past, the helpless victim of fate. The law of Karma is not fatalism, and a little consideration will show that it is possible for an individual to affect his own Karma. If a greater amount of energy be taken up on one plane than on another this will cause the past Karma to unfold itself on that plane. For instance, one who lives entirely on the plane of sense gratification will from the plane beyond draw the energy required for the fulfillment of his desires. Let us illustrate by dividing man into upper and lower nature. By directing the mind and aspirations to the lower plane, a "fire" or centre of attraction, is set up there, and in order to feed and fatten it, the energies of the whole upper plane are drawn down and exhausted in supplying the need of energy which exists below due to the indulgence of sense gratification. On the other hand, the centre of attraction may be fixed in the upper portion, and then all the needed energy goes there to result in increase of spirituality. It must be remembered that Nature is all bountiful and withholds not her hand. The demand is made, and the supply will come. But at what cost? That energy which should have strengthened the moral nature and fulfilled the aspirations after good, is drawn to the lower desires. By degrees the higher planes are exhausted of vitality and the good and bad Karma of an entity will be absorbed on the physical plane. If on the other hand the interest is detached from the plane of sense gratification, if there is a con-


stant effort to fix the mind on the attainment of the highest ideal, the result will be that the past Karma will find no basis in which to inhere on the physical plane. Karma will therefore be manifested only in harmony with the plane of desire. The sense energy of the physical plane will exhaust itself on a higher plane and thus become transmuted in its effects.

What are the means through which the effects of Karma can be thus changed is also clear. A person can have no attachment for a thing he does not think about, therefore the first step must be to fix the thought on the highest ideal. In this connection one remark may be made on the subject of repentance. Repentance is a form of thought in which the mind is constantly recurring to a sin. It has therefore to be avoided if one would set the mind free from sin and its Karmic results. All sin has its origin in the mind. The more the mind dwells on any course of conduct, whether with pleasure or pain, the less chance is there for it to become detached from such action. The manas (mind) is the knot of the heart, when that is untied from any object, in other words when the mind loses its interest in any object, there will no longer be a link between the Karma connected with that object and the individual.

It is the attitude of the mind which draws the Karmic cords tightly round the soul. It imprisons the aspirations and binds them with chains of difficulty and obstruction. It is desire that causes the past Karma to take form and shape and build the house of clay. It must be through non-attachment that the soul will burst through the walls of pain, it will be only through a change of mind that the Karmic burden will be lifted.

It will appear, therefore, that although absolutely true that action brings its own result, "there is no destruction here of actions good or not good. Coming to one body after another they become ripened in their respective ways."―Yet this ripening is the act of the individual. Free will of man asserts itself and he becomes his own saviour. To the worldly man Karma is a stern Nemesis, to the spiritual man Karma unfolds


itself in harmony with his highest aspirations. He will look with tranquility alike on past and future, neither dwelling with remorse on past sin nor living in expectation of reward for present action.

Path, December, 1886


THE following, among others not yet used, were given to me by teachers, among them being H. P. Blavatsky. Some were written, others communicated in other ways. To me they were declared to be from manuscripts not now generally accessible to the public. Each one was submitted to my judgement and reason; and just as they, aside from any authority, approved themselves to my reason after serious consideration of them, so I hope they will gain the approval of those of my fellow workers to whom I now publish them.

William Q. Judge


  1. There is no Karma unless there is a being to make it or feel its effects.
  2. Karma is the adjustment of effects flowing from causes, during which the being upon whom and through whom that adjustment is effected experiences pain or pleasure.
  3. Karma is an undeviating and unerring tendency in the Universe to restore equilibrium, and it operates incessantly.
  4. The apparent stoppage of this restoration to equilibrium is due to the necessary adjustment of disturbance at some other spot, place, or focus which is visible only to the Yogi, to the Sage, or the perfect Seer: there is therefore no stoppage, but only a hiding from view.
  5. Karma operates on all things and beings from the minutest conceivable atom up to Brahma. Proceeding in the
  1. three worlds of men, gods, and the elemental beings, no spot in the manifested universe is exempt from its sway.
  2. Karma is not subject to time, and therefore he who knows what is the ultimate division of time in this Universe knows Karma.
  3. For all other men Karma is in its essential nature unknown and unknowable.
  4. But its action may be known by calculation from cause to effect; and this calculation is possible because the effect is wrapped up in and is not succedent to the cause.
  5. The Karma of this earth is the combination of the acts and thoughts of all beings of every grade which were concerned in the preceding Manvantara or evolutionary stream from which ours flows.
  6. And as those beings include Lords of Power and Holy Men, as well as weak and wicked ones, the period of the earth's duration is greater than that of any entity or race upon it.
  7. Because the Karma of this earth and its races began in a past too far back for human minds to reach, an inquiry into its beginning is useless and profitless.
  8. Karmic causes already set in motion must be allowed to sweep on until exhausted, but this permits no man to refuse to help his fellows and every sentient being.
  9. The effects may be counteracted or mitigated by the thoughts and acts of oneself or of another, and then the resulting effects represent the combination and interaction of the whole number of causes involved in producing the effects.
  10. In the life of worlds, races, nations, and individuals, Karma cannot act unless there is an appropriate instrument provided for its action.
  11. And until such appropriate instrument is found, that Karma related to it remains unexpended.
  12. While a man is experiencing Karma in the instru-
  1. ment provided, his other unexpended Karma is not exhausted through other beings or means, but is held reserved for future operation; and lapse of time during which no operation of that Karma is felt causes no deterioration in its force or change in its nature.
  2. The appropriateness of an instrument for the operation of Karma consists in the exact connection and relation of the Karma with the body, mind, intellectual and psychical nature acquired for use by the Ego in any life.
  3. Every instrument used by any Ego in any life is appropriate to the Karma operating through it.
  4. Changes may occur in the instrument during one life so as to make it appropriate for a new class of Karma, and this may take place in two ways: (a) through intensity of thought and the power of a vow, and (b) through natural alterations due to complete exhaustion of old causes.
  5. As body and mind and soul have each a power of independent action, any one of these may exhaust, independently of the others, some Karmic causes more remote from or nearer to the time of their inception than those operating through other channels.
  6. Karma is both merciful and just. Mercy and Justice are only opposite poles of a single whole; and Mercy without Justice is not possible in the operations of Karma. That which man calls Mercy and Justice is defective, errant, and impure.
  7. Karma may be of three sorts: (a) Presently operative in this life through the appropriate instruments; (b) that which is being made or stored up to be exhausted in the future; (c) Karma held over from past life or lives and not operating yet because inhibited by inappropriateness of the instrument in use by the Ego, or by the force of Karma now operating.
  8. Three fields of operation are used in each being by Karma: (a) the body and the circumstances; (b) the mind
  1. and intellect; (c) the psychic and astral planes.
  2. Held-over Karma or present Karma may each, or both at once, operate in all of the three fields of Karmic operation at once, or in either of those fields a different class of Karma from that using the others may operate at the same time.
  3. Birth into any sort of body and to obtain the fruits of any sort of Karma is due to the preponderance of the line of Karmic tendency.
  4. The sway of Karmic tendency will influence the incarnation of an Ego, or any family of Egos, for three lives at least, when measures of repression, elimination, or counteraction are not adopted.
  5. Measures taken by an Ego to repress tendency, eliminate defects, and to counteract by setting up different causes, will alter the sway of Karmic tendency and shorten its influence in accordance with the strength or weakness of the efforts expended in carrying out the measures adopted.
  6. No man but a sage or true seer can judge another's Karma. Hence while each receives his deserts, appearances may deceive, and birth into Poverty or heavy trial may not be punishment for bad Karma, for Egos continually incarnate into poor surroundings where they experience difficulties and trials which are for the discipline of the Ego and result in strength, fortitude, and sympathy.
  7. Race-Karma influences each unit in the race through the law of Distribution. National Karma operates on the members of the nation by the same law more concentrated. Family Karma governs only with a nation where families have been kept pure and distinct; for in any nation where there is a mixture of family - as obtains in each Kaliyuga period - family Karma is in general distributed over a nation. But even at such periods some families remain coherent for long periods, and then the members feel the sway of family Karma. The word "family" may include several smaller families.
  1. Karma operates to produce cataclysms of nature by concatenation through the mental and astral planes of being. A cataclysm may be traced to an immediate physical cause such as internal fire and atmospheric disturbance, but these have been brought on by the disturbance created through the dynamic power of human thought.
  2. Egos who have no Karmic connection with a portion of the globe where a cataclysm is coming on are kept without the latter's operation in two ways: (a) by repulsion acting on their inner nature, and (b) by being called and warned by those who watch the progress of the world.

Path, March, 1893


THE Desatir is a collection of the writings of the different Persian Prophets, one of whom was Zoroaster. The last was alive in the time of Khusro Parvez, who was contemporary with the Emperor Revaclius and died only nine years before the end of the ancient Persian monarchy. Sir William Jones was the first who drew the attention of European scholars to the Desatir. It is divided into books of the different prophets. In this article the selections are from the "Prophet Abad."

"In the name of Lareng! Mezdam1 separated man from the other animals by the distinction of a soul, which is a free and independent substance, without a body or anything material, indivisible and without position, by which he attaineth to the glory of the angels.

"By his knowledge he united the soul with the elemental body. If one doeth good in an elemental body, and possesseth useful knowledge, and acts aright, and is a Hirtasp, and doth not give pain to harmless animals; when he putteth off the inferior body I will introduce him to the abode of the angels that he may see me with the nearest angels.

"And every one who wisheth to return to the lower world and is a doer of good shall, according to his knowledge and conversation and actions, receive something, either as a King or Prime Minister, or some high office or wealth, until he meeteth with a reward suited to his deeds.

"Those who, in the season of prosperity, experience pain and grief suffer them on account of their words or deeds in a former body, for which the Most Just now punisheth them.

"In the name of Lareng! Whosoever is an evil doer, on him He first inflicteth pain under human form: for sickness, sufferings of children while in their mother’s womb, and after they

1 Mezdam is the Lord God, so to say.


are out of it, and suicide, and being hurt by ravenous animals, and death, and being subjected to want from birth to death, are all retributions for past actions: and in like manner as to goodness.

"If any one knowingly and intentionally kill a harmless animal and do not meet with retribution in the same life either from the unseen or the earthly ruler, he will find punishment awaiting him at his next coming."

Certain verses declare that foolish and evil doers are condemned to the bodies of vegetables, and the very wicked to the form of minerals, and then declare they so remain.

"Until their sins be purified, after which they are delivered from this suffering and are once more united to a human body: and according as they act in it they again meet with retribution."

In the Desatir the doctrine is held that animals are also subject to punishment by retributive Karma; thus:

"If a ravenous animal kill a harmless animal it must be regarded as retaliation on the slain, since ferocious animals exist for the purpose of inflicting such punishment. The slaying of ravenous animals is laudable, since they in a former existence have been shedders of blood and slew the guiltless. The punisher of such is blest.

"The lion, the tiger, the leopard, the panther, and the wolf, with all ravenous animals, whether birds, quadrupeds, or creeping things, have once possessed authority; and everyone whom they kill hath been their aider or abettor who did evil by supporting or assisting, or by the orders of, that exalted class; and having given pain to harmless animals are now punished by their own masters. In fine, these grandees, being invested with the forms of ravenous beasts, expire of suffering and wounds according to their misdeeds; and if any guilt remain they will return a second time and suffer punishment along with their accomplices."

Path, October, 1891Bryan Kinnavan



For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field; and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.―Job, Chap. V, v. 23, Christian Bible.

AS a western Theosophist, I would like to present to my Indian brethren a few thoughts upon what I conceive to be the operation of the Law of Compensation in part, or, to put it more clearly, upon the operation of one branch of this law.

It seems undeniable that this law is the most powerful, and the one having the most numerous and complicated ramifications of all the laws with which we have to deal. This it is that makes so difficult for a human spirit, the upward progress after which we all are striving, and it is often forced upon me that it is this law which perpetuates the world, with its delusions, its sadness, its illusions, and that if we could but understand it so as to avoid its operation, the nirvana for the whole human family would be an accomplished fact.

In a former number a respected brother from Ceylon, speaking with authority, showed us how to answer the question so often asked: "Why do we see a good man eating the bread of poverty, and the wicked dwelling in riches, and why so often is a good man cast down from prosperity to despair, and a wicked man after a period of sorrow and hardship made to experience for the balance of his life nothing but success and prosperity?" He replied that our acts in any one period of

* W. Q. Judge, F.T.S.


existence were like the arrow shot from the bow, acting upon us in the next life and producing our rewards and punishments. So that to accept his explanation―as we must―it is, of course, necessary to believe in reincarnation. As far as he went, he was very satisfactory, but he did not go into the subject as thoroughly as his great knowledge would permit. It is to be hoped that he will favor us with further essays upon the same subject.

I have not yet seen anywhere stated the rationale of the operation of this law―how and why it acts in any particular case.

To say that the reviling of a righteous man will condemn one to a life of a beggar in the next existence is definite enough in statement, but it is put forward without a reason, and unless we accept these teachings blindly we cannot believe such consequences would follow. To appeal to our minds, there should be a reason given, which shall be at once plain and reasonable. There must be some law for this particular case; otherwise, the statement cannot be true. There must occur, from the force of the revilement, the infraction of some natural regulation, the production of some discord in the spiritual world which has for a consequence the punishment by beggary in the succedent existence of the reviler. The only other reason possible of statement is, that it is so ordered. But such a reason is not a reason at all because no Theosophist will believe that any punishment, save that which man himself inflicts, is ordered. As this world is a world produced by law, moved by law, and governed by the natural operation of laws which need no one to operate them, but which invariably and unerringly operate themselves, it must follow that any punishment suffered in this way is not suffered through any order, but is suffered because the natural law operates itself. And further, we are compelled to accept this view, because to believe that it was ordered, would infer the existence of some particular person, mind, will, or intelligence to order it, which for one instant no one will believe, who knows that this world was produced, and is governed, by the operation of number,


weight and measure, with harmony over and above all.

So then we should know in what manner the law operates, which condemns the reviler of a righteous man to beggary in his next existence. That knowledge once gained, we may be able to find for ourselves the manner and power of placating, as it were, this terrible monster of compensation by performing some particular acts which shall in some way be a restoration of the harmony which we have broken, if perchance we have unconsciously or inadvertently committed the sin.

Let us now imagine a boy born of wealthy parents, but not given proper intelligence. He is, in fact, called an idiot. But instead of being a mild idiot, he possesses great malice which manifests itself in his tormenting insects and animals at every opportunity. He lives to be, say, nineteen and has spent his years in the malicious, although idiotic, torment of unintelligent, defenseless animal life. He has thus hindered many a spirit in its upward march and has beyond doubt inflicted pain and caused a moral discord. This fact of his idiocy is not a restoration of the discord. Every animal that he tortured had its own particular elemental spirit, and so had every flower that he broke in pieces. What did they know of his idiocy, and what did they feel after the torture but revenge? And had they a knowledge of his idiocy, being unreasoning beings, they could not see in it any excuse for his acts. He dies at nineteen, and after the lapse of years is reborn in another nation―perchance another age―into a body possessing more than average intelligence. He is no longer an idiot, but a sensible active man who now has a chance to regenerate the spirit given to every man, without the chains of idiocy about it. What is to be the result of the evil deeds of his previous existence? Are they to go unpunished? I think not. But how are they to be punished; and if the compensation comes, in what manner does the law operate upon him? To me there seems to be but one way, that is through the discord produced in the spirits of those unthinking beings which he had tortured during those nineteen years. But how? In this way. In the


agony of their torture these beings turned their eyes upon their torturer, and dying, his spiritual picture through the excess of their pain, together with that pain and the desire for revenge, were photographed, so to speak, upon their spirits―for in no other way could they have a memory of him―and when he became a disembodied spirit they clung to him until he was reincarnated when they were still with him like barnacles on a ship. They can now only see through his eyes, and their revenge consists in precipitating themselves down his glance on any matter he may engage in, thus attaching themselves to it for the purpose of dragging it down to disaster.

This leads to the query of what is meant by these elementals precipitating themselves down his glance. The ancients taught that the astral light―Akasa―is projected from the eyes, the thumbs and the palms of the hands. Now as the elementals exist in the astral light, they will be able to see only through those avenues of human organism which are used by the astral light in traveling from the person. The eyes are the most convenient. So when this person directs his glance on any thing or person, the astral light goes out in that glance and through it those elementals see that which he looks upon. And so also, if he should magnetize a person, the elementals will project themselves from his hands and eyes upon the subject magnetized and do it injury.

Well then, our reincarnated idiot engages in a business which requires his constant surveillance. The elementals go with him and throwing themselves upon everything he directs, cause him continued disaster.

But one by one they are caught up again out of the orbit of necessity into the orbit of probation in this world, and at last all are gone, whereupon he finds success in all he does and has his chance again to reap eternal life. He finds the realization of the words of Job quoted at the head of this article: he is in “league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field are at peace with him." These words were penned ages ago by those ancient Egyptians who knew all things. Having


walked in the secret paths of wisdom which no fowl knoweth and the vulture's eye hath not seen, they discovered those hidden laws, one within the other like the wheels of Ezekiel, which govern the universe. There is no other reasonable explanation of the passage quoted than the theory faintly outlined in the foregoing poor illustration. And I only offer it as a possible solution or answer to the question as to what is the rationale of the operation of the Moral Law of Compensation in that particular case, of which I go so far as to say that I think I know a living illustration. But it will not furnish an answer for the case of the punishment for reviling a righteous man.

I would earnestly ask the learned friends of the Editor of THE THEOSOPHIST to give the explanation, and also hint to us how in this existence we may act so as to mitigate the horrors of our punishment and come as near as may be to a league with the stones and the beasts of the field.

Theosophist, October, 1881


EVERY day in life we see people overtaken by circumstances either good or bad and coming in blocks all at once or scattered over long periods of time. Some are for a whole life in a miserable condition, and others for many years the very reverse; while still others are miserable or happy by snatches. I speak, of course, of the circumstances of life irrespective of the effect on the mind of the person, for it may often be that a man is not unhappy under adverse circumstances, and some are able to extract good from the very strait lines they are put within. Now all this is the Karma of those who are the experiencers, and therefore we ask ourselves if Karma may fall in a lump or may be strung out over a long space of years. And the question is also asked if the circumstances of this life are the sum total result of the life which has immediately preceded it.

There is a little story told to a German mystic in this century by an old man, another mystic, when asked the meaning of the verse in the Bible which says that the sins of the father will be visited on the children to the third and fourth generation. He said: "There was once an Eastern king who had one son, and this son committed a deed the penalty of which was that he should be killed by a great stone thrown upon him. But as it was seen that this would not repair the wrong nor give to the offender the chance to become a better man, the counsellors of the king advised that the stone should be broken into small pieces, and those be thrown at the son, and at his children and grandchildren as they were able to


bear it. It was so done, and all were in some sense sufferers yet none were destroyed." It was argued, of course, in this case that the children and grandchildren could not have been born in the family of the prince if they had not had some hand in the past, in other lives, in the formation of his character, and for that reason they should share to some extent in his punishment. In no other way than this can the Christian verses be understood if we are to attribute justice to the God of the Christians.

Each Ego is attracted to the body in which he will meet his just deserts, but also for another reason. That is, that not only is the body to give opportunity for his just reward or punishment, but also for that he in the past was connected with the family in which the body was born, and the stream of heredity to which it belongs is his too. It is therefore a question not alone of desert and similarity, but one of responsibility. Justice orders that the Ego shall suffer or enjoy irrespective of what family he comes to; similarity decrees that he shall come to the family in which there is some characteristic similar to one or many of his and thus having a drawing power; but responsibility, which is compounded of justice, directs that the Ego shall come to the race or the nation or the family to which its responsibility lies for the part taken by it in other lives in forming of the general character, or affecting that physical stream of heredity that has so much influence on those who are involved in it. Therefore it is just that even the grandchildren shall suffer if they in the past have had a hand in moulding the family or even in bringing about a social order that is detrimental to those who fall into it through incarnation. I use the word responsibility to indicate something composed of similarity and justice. It may be described by other words probably quite as well, and in the present state of the English language very likely will be. An Ego may have no direct responsibility for a family, national, or race condition, and yet be drawn into incarnation there. In such an event it is similarity of character which causes the place of rebirth, for the being coming to the abode of mortals


is drawn like electricity along the path of least resistance and of greatest conductibility. But where the reincarnating Ego is directly responsible for family or race conditions, it will decide itself, upon exact principles of justice and in order to meet its obligations, to be reborn where it shall receive, as grandchild if you will, physically or otherwise the results of its former acts. This decision is made at the emergence from Devachan. It is thus entirely just, no matter whether the new physical brain is able or not to pick up the lost threads of memory.

So to-day, in our civilization, we are all under the penalty of our forefathers sins, living in bodies which medical science has shown are sown with diseases of brain and flesh and blood coming in the turbid stream of heredity through the centuries. These disturbances were brought about by ourselves in other centuries, in ignorance, perhaps, of consequences so far-reaching, but that ignorance lessens only the higher moral responsibility and tends to confine the results to physical suffering. This can very well lead, as it often does, to efforts on the part of many reincarnating Egos in the direction of general reform.

It was through a belief in this that the ancients attempted to form and keep up in India a pure family stream such as the highest caste of Brahmin. For they knew that if such a clean family line could be kept existing for many centuries, it would develop the power of repelling Egos on the way to rebirth if they were not in character up to the standard of that stream of life. Thus only teachers by nature, of high moral and spiritual elevation, would come upon the scene to act as regenerators and saviors for all other classes. But under the iron rule of cyclic law this degenerated in time, leaving now only an imitation of the real thing.

A variation of the Eastern story told above is that the advice of the kings counsellors was that the broken stone should be cast at the prince. This was done, and the result was that he was not killed but suffered while the pieces were being thrown. It gives another Karmic law, that is, that a given amount of


force of a Karmic character may be thrown at one or fall upon one at once, in bulk, so to say, or may be divided up into smaller pieces, the sum of which represents the whole mass of Karmic force. And so we see it in life. Men suffer through many years an amount of adverse Karma which, if it were to fall all at once, would crush them. Others for a long time have general good fortune that might unseat the reason if experienced in one day; and the latter happens also, for we know of those who have been destroyed by the sudden coming of what is called great good fortune.

This law is seen also in physics. A piece of glass may be broken at once by a single blow, or the same amount of force put into a number of taps continuously repeated will accomplish the same result and mash the glass. And with the emotions we observe the same law followed by even the most ignorant, for we do not tell bad news at once to the person who is the sufferer, but get at it slowly by degrees; and often when disaster is suddenly heard of, the person who hears it is prostrated. In both cases the sorrow caused is the same, but the method of imparting the news differs. Indeed, in whatever direction we look, this law is observed to work. It is universal, and it ought to be applied to Karma as well as to anything else.

Whether the life we are now living is the net result of the one just preceding is answered by Patanjali in his 8th and 9th aphorisms, Book IV.

"From these works there results, in every incarnation, a manifestation of only those mental deposits which can come to fructification in the environment provided. Although the manifestation of mental deposits may be intercepted by unsuitable environments, differing as to class, place, and time, there is an immediate relation between them, because the memory and the train of self-reproductive thought are identical," and also by other doctrines of the ancients. When a body is taken up, only that sort of Karma which can operate through it will make itself felt. This is what Patanjali means. The "environment" is the body, with the mind, the plastic


nature, and the emotions and desires. Hence one may have been great or the reverse in the preceding life, and now have only the environment which will serve for the exhaustion of some Karma left over from lives many incarnations distant. This unexhausted Karma is known as stored-up Karma. It may or may not come into operation now, and it can also be brought out into view by violent effort of the mind leading to such changes as to alter the bodily apparatus and make it equivalent to a new body. But as the majority of men are lazy of mind and nature, they suffer themselves to run with the great family or national stream, and so through one life make no changes of this inner nature. Karma in their cases operates through what Patanjali calls "mental deposits." These are the net results stored from each life by Manas. For as body dies, taking brain with it, there can be no storage there nor means of connecting with the next earth-life; the division known as Kama is dissipated or purged away together with astral body at some time before rebirth; astral body retains nothing―as a general rule―for the new life, and the value or summation of those skandhas which belong to Kama is concentrated and deposited in Manas or the mind. So, when the immortal being returns, he is really Manas-Buddhi-Atma seeking a new environment which is found in a new body, prana, Kama, and astral double. Hence, and because under the sway of cyclic law, the reincarnation can only furnish an engine of a horsepower, so to say, which is very much lower than the potential energies stored in Manas, and thus there remain unexhausted "mental deposits," or unexhausted Karma. The Ego may therefore be expending a certain line of Karma, always bringing it to similar environments until that class of Karma shall be so exhausted or weakened as to permit another set of "mental deposits" to preponderate, whereupon the next incarnation will be in a different environment which shall give opportunity for the new set of deposits to bring about new or different Karma.

The object that is indicated for life by all this is, to so live and think during each life as to generate no new Karma, or


cause for bondage, while one is working off the stock in hand, in order that on closing each life-account one shall have wiped off so much as that permits. The old "mental deposits" will thus gradually move up into action and exhaustion from life to life, at last leaving the man in a condition where he can master all and step into true consciousness, prepared to renounce final reward in order that he may remain with humanity, making no new Karma himself and helping others along the steep road to perfection.

Path, August, 1892Eusebio Urban


THAT view of one's Karma which leads to a bewailing of the unkind fate which has kept advantages in life away from us, is a mistaken estimate of what is good and what is not good for the soul. It is quite true that we may often find persons surrounded with great advantages but who make no corresponding use of them or pay but little regard to them. But this very fact in itself goes to show that the so-called advantageous position in life is really not good nor fortunate in the true and inner meaning of those words. The fortunate one has money and teachers, ability, and means to travel and fill the surroundings with works of art, with music and with ease. But these are like the tropical airs that enervate the body; these enervate the character instead of building it up. They do not in themselves tend to the acquirement of any virtue whatever but rather to the opposite by reason of the constant steeping of the senses in the subtle essences of the sensuous world. They are like sweet things which, being swallowed in quantities, turn to acids in the inside of the body. Thus they can be seen to be the opposite of good Karma.

What then is good Karma and what bad? The all embracing and sufficient answer is this:

Good Karma is that kind which the Ego desires and requires; bad, that which the Ego neither desires nor requires.

And in this the Ego, being guided and controlled by law, by justice, by the necessities of upward evolution, and not by


fancy or selfishness or revenge or ambition, is sure to choose the earthly habitation that is most likely, out of all possible of selection, to give a Karma for the real advantage in the end. In this light then, even the lazy, indifferent life of one born rich as well as that of one born low and wicked is right.

When we, from this plane, inquire into the matter, we see that the "advantages" which one would seek were he looking for the strengthening of character, the unloosing of soul force and energy, would be called by the selfish and personal world "disadvantages." Struggle is needed for the gaining of strength; buffeting adverse eras is for the gaining of depth; meagre opportunities may be used for acquiring fortitude; poverty should breed generosity.

The middle ground in all this, and not the extreme, is what we speak of. To be born with the disadvantage of drunken, diseased parents, in the criminal portion of the community, is a punishment which constitutes a wait on the road of evolution. It is a necessity generally because the Ego has drawn about itself in a former life some tendencies which cannot be eliminated in any other way. But we should not forget that sometimes, often in the grand total, a pure, powerful Ego incarnates in just such awful surroundings, remaining good and pure all the time, and staying there for the purpose of uplifting and helping others.

But to be born in extreme poverty is not a disadvantage. Jesus said well when, repeating what many a sage had said before, he described the difficulty experienced by the rich man in entering heaven. If we look at life from the narrow point of view of those who say there is but one earth and after it either eternal heaven or hell, then poverty will be regarded as a great disadvantage and something to be avoided. But seeing that we have many lives to live, and that they will give us all needed opportunity for building up character, we must admit that poverty is not, in itself, necessarily bad Karma. Poverty has no natural tendency to engender selfishness, but wealth requires it.


A sojourn for everyone in a body born to all the pains, deprivations and miseries of modern poverty, is good and just. Inasmuch as the present state of civilization with all its horrors of poverty, of crime, of disease, of wrong relations almost everywhere, has grown out of the past, in which we were workers, it is just that we should experience it all at some point in our career. If some person who now pays no heed to the misery of men and women should next life be plunged into one of the slums of our cities for rebirth, it would imprint on the soul the misery of such a situation. This would lead later on to compassion and care for others. For, unless we experience the effects of a state of life we cannot understand or appreciate it from a mere description. The personal part involved in this may not like it as a future prospect, but if the Ego decides that the next personality shall be there then all will be an advantage and not a disadvantage.

If we look at the field of operation in us of the so-called advantages of opportunity, money, travel and teachers we see at once that it all has to do with the brain and nothing else. Languages, archæology, music, satiating sight with beauty, eating the finest food, wearing the best clothes, traveling to many places and thus infinitely varying impressions on ear and eye; all these begin and end in the brain and not in the soul or character. As the brain is a portion of the unstable, fleeting body the whole phantasmagoria disappears from view and use when the note of death sends its awful vibration through the physical form and drives out the inhabitant. The wonderful central master-ganglion disintegrates, and nothing at all is left but some faint aromas here and there depending on the actual love within for any one pursuit or image or sensation. Nothing left of it all but a few tendencies―skandhas, not of the very best. The advantages then turn out in the end to be disadvantages altogether. But imagine the same brain and body not in places of ease, struggling for a good part of life, doing their duty and not in a position to please the senses: this experience will burn in, stamp upon, carve into the character,


more energy, more power and more fortitude. It is thus through the ages that great characters are made. The other mode is the mode of the humdrum average which is nothing after all, as yet, but an animal.

Path, July, 1895William Q. Judge


A WELL known writer in Harper’s Magazine said lately "Heredity is a Puzzle." He then proceeded, "The race is linked together in a curious tangle, so that it is almost impossible to fix the responsibility. . . . We try to study this problem in our asylums and prisons, and we get a great many interesting facts, but they are too conflicting to guide legislation. The difficulty is to relieve a person of responsibility for the sins of his ancestors, without relieving him of responsibility for his own sins."

This is the general view. Heredity is a puzzle, and will always remain one so long as the laws of Karma and Reincarnation are not admitted and taken into account in all these investigations. Nearly all of these writers admit―excepting those who say they do not know―the theological view that each human being is a new creation, a new soul projected into life on this earth.

This is quite logical, inasmuch as they assert that we are only mortal and are not spirits. The religious investigators admit we are spirits, but go no further, except to assume the same special creation. Hence, when they come to the question of "Heredity," it is a very serious matter. It becomes a puzzle, especially to those who investigate heredity and who are trying to decide on whom responsibility ought to rest, while they know nothing of Karma or Reincarnation. And it is hinted at that there is necessity for legislation on the subject. That is to say, if we have a case of a murderer to consider,


and we find that he has come of a race or family of murderers, the result of which is to make him a being who cannot prevent himself from committing murder, we have to conclude that, if this is due to "heredity," he cannot in any sane sense be responsible. Take the case of the tribes, or family, or sect of Thugs in India, whose aim in life was to put people out of the world. Their children would of necessity inherit this tendency. It is something like a cat and a bird. It is the nature of the cat to eat the bird, and you cannot blame it. Thus we should be driven to pass a law making an exception in the case of such unfortunate persons. Then we should be met by the possibility of false testimony being adduced upon the trial of the criminal, going to show that he came under the law. This possibility is so great that it is not likely such a law will ever be passed. So that, even if the legal and scientific world were able to come to any conclusion establishing the great force of heredity, it would be barren of results unless the truth of Karma and Reincarnation were admitted. For in the absence of these, no law, and hence no remedy for the supposed injustice to be done to irresponsible criminals, could be applied. I am stating, not what I think ought to be done, but what will be the inevitable end of investigation into heredity without the aid of the other two great laws.

If these two doctrines should be accepted by the supposed legislators, it would follow that no such law as I have adverted to would ever be put on the books; for the reason that, once Karma and Reincarnation are admitted, the responsibility of each individual is made greater than before. Not only is he responsible even under his hereditary tendency, but in a wider sense he is also responsible for the great injury he does the State through the future effect of his life―that effect acting on those who are born as his descendants.

There is no very great puzzle in "Heredity" as a law, from the standpoint of Karma and Reincarnation, although of course the details of the working of it will be complicated and numerous.


I know that some theosophists have declared that it puzzles them, but that is because it is a new idea, very different from those instilled into us during our education as youths and our association with our fellows as adults.

None of the observed and admitted facts in respect to heredity should be ignored, nor need they be left out of sight by a Theosophist. We are bound to admit that leanings and peculiarities are transmitted from father to son, and to all along down the line of descent. In one case we may find a mental trait, in another a physical peculiarity; and in a great-grandson we shall see often the bodily habits of his remote ancestor reproduced.

The question is then asked, "How am I to be held responsible for such strange inclinations when I never knew this man from whom I inherit them?" As theories go at this day, it would be impossible to answer this question. For if I have come from the bosom of God as a new soul; or if what is called soul or intelligence is the product of this body I inhabit and which I had no hand in producing; or if I have come from far distant spheres unconnected with this earth, to take up this body with whose generation I was not concerned; it would be the grossest injustice for me to be held responsible for what it may do. It seems to me that from the premises laid down there can be no escape from this conclusion, and unless our sociologists and political economists and legislators admit the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation, they will have to pass laws to which I have referred. We shall then have a code which may be called, "Of limitations of responsibility of criminals in cases of murder and other crimes."

But the whole difficulty arises from the inherited transmitted habit in the Western mind of looking at effects and mistaking them for causes, and of considering the instruments or means, through and by means of which laws of nature work, as causes. Heredity has been looked at, or is beginning to be, as the cause of crime and of virtue. It is not a cause, but only the means or instrument for the production of the effect, the cause


being hidden deeper. It seems just as erroneous to call heredity a cause of either good or bad acts as it is to call the merely mortal brain or body the cause of mind or soul.

Ages ago the Hindu sages admitted that the body did not produce the mind, but that there was what they called "the mind of the mind," or, as we might put it, "the intelligence operating above and behind the mere brain matter." And they enforced their argument by numerous illustrations; as, for instance, that the eye could not see even when in itself a perfect instrument, unless the mind behind it was acting. We can easily prove this from cases of sleep walkers. They walk with their eyes wide open, so that the retina must, as usual, receive the impinging images, yet although you stand before their eyes they do not see you. It is because the intelligence is disjoined from the otherwise perfect optical instrument. Hence we admit that the body is not the cause of mind; the eyes are not the cause of sight; but that the body and the eye are instruments by means of which the cause operates.

Karma and Reincarnation include the premise that the man is a spiritual entity who is using the body for some purpose.

From remote times the sages state that he (this spiritual being) is using the body which he has acquired by Karma. Hence the responsibility cannot be placed upon the body, nor primarily upon those who brought forth the body, but upon the man himself. This works perfect justice, for, while the man in any one body is suffering his just deserts, the other men (or souls) who produced such bodies are also compelled to make compensation in other bodies.

As the compensation is not made at any human and imperfect tribunal, but to nature itself, which includes every part of it, it consists in the restoration of the harmony or equilibrium which has been disturbed.

The necessity for recognizing the law from the standpoint of ethics arises from the fact that, until we are aware that such is the law, we will never begin to perform such acts and think such thoughts as will tend to bring about the required altera-


tions in the astral light needed to start a new order of thoughts and influences. These new influences will not, of course, come to have full effect and sway on those who initiate them, but will operate on their descendants, and will also prepare a new future age in which those very persons who set up the new current shall participate. Hence it is not in any sense a barren, unrewarded thing, for we ourselves come back again in some other age to reap the fruit of the seed we had sown. The impulse must be set up, and we must be willing to wait for the result. The potter’s wheel continues to revolve when the potter has withdrawn his foot, and so the present revolving wheel will turn for a while until the impulse is spent.

Path, November, 1888


HE above is the title of an essay in the T.P.S. series by Alexander Fullerton, in which he Ttreats the question solely in regard to whether we should take punitive or reformatory measures with those of our fellow-beings who transgress in those respects in which we so often see culpability. In that essay he has said a great deal that cannot be controverted from the general rules prevailing, but there are other considerations, and also other ways of understanding the term "Karmic Agent."

For this H.P.B. had a particular and technical meaning under which the Karmic Agent is at once removed from the ordinary general mass to which the essay in the Siftings has reference. A statement of the law of Karma of course makes not only men karmic agents but also every other being in the Cosmos, inasmuch as they are all under the law of action and reaction, and, with the same law, go to make Cosmos what it is. Taken as a unit in the general mass of men, each man is a Karmic agent in the above sense, just as each horse and dog, or the rain and the sun are. So in our daily actions, even the smallest, whether we are conscious or not of the effect, we are such agents. A single word of ours may have an influence for a lifetime upon another. It may cause once more the fire of passion to blaze up, or bring about a great change for good. We may be the means of another's being late for an appointment and thus save him from calamity or the reverse, and so on infinitely. But all this is very different from the technical sense I have referred to, and which might

Theosophical Siftings, vol. 4, Nos. 14-15.


be taken to be the sense of the title of the article thus specially removed from the general class.

The special sense is in this: a "Karmic Agent" is one who concentrates more rapidly than is usual the lines of influence that bring about events sometimes in a strange and subtle way. Of these there are two classes; the first, those among the mass who, from the lives they have led in the past, arrive in this one gifted―or cursed―with the power unknown to themselves. The second, those who by training have the power, or rather have become concentrators of the forces, and know it to be the case. Of these are the Adepts, both great and small. An instance of this may be found in the life of Zanoni as related by Bulwer Lytton. It was observed that those who met Zanoni soon showed in their affairs very great changes, and although Lytton's son has said, out of his imagination, I think, that his father never intended what theosophists say he did by the book, there is no doubt that Bulwer meant to teach and illustrate the law.

In Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms it is also spoken of in the 36th Aphorism, second book, thus (Amer. Ed.): "When veracity is complete the Yogee becomes the focus for the Karma resulting from all works, good and bad"; and in the Bombay edition, "when veracity is complete he is the receptacle of the fruit of works."

It is a well-known tradition in India, called by the civilized West a superstition, that if one should meet and talk with an Adept his Karma good and bad would come to a head more quickly than usual, and thus that the Adept could confer a boon, letting the evil pass and increasing the good. I have conversed with those who asserted they had by chance met Yogis in the forest with whom they talked, telling them that some dear friend was sick unto death, and then on returning home found that the sickness had all gone at the very time of the conversation. And others met such men, who told them that the meeting would bring on the opposite by reason of quick concentration, but that even that would be a benefit, as it would, as it were, eat up much unpleasant Karma once


for all. Of this class of traditions is the story of the centurion's daughter and Jesus of Nazareth.

And H.P.B. held that there are many people in the world, engaged in its affairs, who are, without knowing it, Karmic agents in this special sense, and continually bring to others good and bad sudden effects which otherwise would have come slowly to pass, spread over many more days or years, and showing in a number of small events instead of in one.

If this theory be true, we have here also the explanation of the superstition of the evil eye, which is only a corrupt form of the knowledge that there are such Karmic agents among us who by looking at others draw together very quickly effects that without the presence of the Karmic agent might never have been noticed because of their taking more time to transpire.

But if we follow too strictly the theory that men are Karmic agents for the punishment or reformation of others, many mistakes will be made and much bad feeling engendered in others, making it inevitable that we who cause these feelings must receive some day, in this life or another, the exact reaction. And on the other hand, we should not shrink from the duty to relieve pain and sorrow if we can, for it is both cowardice and conceit to say that we will not help this or that man because it is his Karma to suffer. In the face of suffering it is our good Karma to relieve it if in our power. We are ignorant at best, and cannot tell what will be the next result of what we are about to do or to suggest; hence it is wiser not to assume too often and on too small occasions to be the reformers or punishers as agents for Karma of those who seem to offend.

Path, March, 1892D.K.


THE following query has been received from H.M.H.: "In August PATH Hadji Erinn, in reply to the above question, stated that 'those who have wealth, and the happy mother seeing all her children respected and virtuous, are favorites of Karma.’ I and others believe that these apparent favors are only punishment or obstacles, and others think that the terms punishment and reward should not be used."

I cannot agree with this view, nor with the suggestion that punishment and reward should not be used as terms. It is easy to reduce every thing to a primordial basis when one may say that all is the absolute. But such is only the method of those who affirm and deny. They say there is no evil, there is no death; all is good, all is life. In this way we are reduced to absurdities, inasmuch as we then have no terms to designate very evident things and conditions. As well say there is no gold and no iron, because both are equally matter. While we continue to be human beings we must use terms that shall express our conscious perception of ideas and things.

It is therefore quite proper to say that an unhappy or miserably circumstanced person is undergoing punishment, and that the wealthy or happy person is having reward. Otherwise there is no sense in our doctrine.

The misunderstanding shown in the question is due to inaccurate thinking upon the subject of Karma. One branch of this law deals with the vicissitudes of life, with the differing states of men. One man has opportunity and happiness, another meets only the opposite. Why is this? It is because each


state is the exact result bound to come from his having disturbed or preserved the harmony of nature. The person given wealth in this life is he who in the preceding incarnation suffered from its absence or had been deprived of it unjustly. What are we to call it but reward? If we say compensation, we express exactly the same idea. And we cannot get the world to adopt verbosity in speech so as to say, "All this is due to that man's having preserved the cosmic harmony."

The point really in the questioners mind is, in fact, quite different from the one expressed; he has mistaken one for the other; he is thinking of the fact so frequently obtruded before us that the man who has the opportunity of wealth or power oft misuses it and becomes selfish or tyrannous. But this does not alter the conclusion that he is having his reward. Karma will take care of him; and if he does not use the opportunity for the good of his fellows, or if he does evil to them, he will have punishment upon coming back again to earth. It is true enough, as Jesus said, that "it is difficult for the rich man to enter heaven," but there are other possessions of the man besides wealth that constitute greater obstacles to development, and they are punishments and may coexist in the life of one man with the reward of wealth or the like. I mean the obstruction and hindrance found in stupidity, or natural baseness, or in physical sensual tendencies. These are more likely to keep him from progress and ultimate salvation than all the wealth or good luck that any one person ever enjoyed.

In such cases―and they are not a few―we see Karmic reward upon the outer material plane in the wealth and propitious arrangement of life, and on the inner character the punishment of being unable or unfit through many defects of mind or nature. This picture can be reversed with equal propriety. I doubt if the questioner has devoted his mind to analyzing the subject in this manner.

Every man, however, is endowed with conscience and the power to use his life, whatever its form or circumstance, in the proper way, so as to extract from it all the good for himself


and his fellows that his limitations of character will permit. It is his duty so to do, and as he neglects or obeys, so will be his subsequent punishment or reward.

There may also be another sort of wealth than mere gold, another sort of power than position in politics or society. The powerful, wide, all-embracing, rapidly-acting brain stored with knowledge is a vast possession which one man may enjoy. He can use it properly or improperly. It may lead him to excesses, to vileness, to the very opposite of all that is good. It is his reward for a long past life of stupidity followed by others of noble deeds and thoughts. What will the questioner do with this? The possessor thus given a reward may misuse it so as to turn it, next time he is born, into a source of punishment. We are thus continually fitting our arrows to the bow, drawing them back hard to the ear, and shooting them forth from us. When we enter the field of earth-life again, they will surely strike us or our enemies of human shape or the circumstances which otherwise would hurt us. It is not the arrow or the bow that counts, but the motive and the thought with which the missile is shot.

Path, February, 1890Hadji Erinn


THE question of what is good Karma and what bad has been usually considered by theosophists from a very worldly and selfish standpoint. The commercial element has entered into the calculation as to the result of merit and demerit. Eternal Justice, which is but another name for Karma, has been spoken of as awarding this or that state of life to the reincarnating ego solely as a mere balance of accounts in a ledger, with a payment in one case by way of reward and a judgment for debt in another by way of punishment.

It has been often thought that if a man be rich and well circumstanced it must follow that in his prior incarnation he was good although poor; and that if he now be in poverty the conclusion is that, when on earth before, his life was bad if rich. So it has come about that the sole test of good or bad Karma is one founded entirely upon his purse. But is poverty with all its miseries bad Karma? Does it follow, because a man is born in the lowest station in life, compelled always to live in the humblest way, often starving and hearing his wife and children cry out for food, that therefore he is suffering from bad Karma?

If we look at the question entirely from the plane of this one life, this personality, then of course what is disagreeable and painful in life may be said to be bad. But if we regard all conditions of life as experiences undergone by the ego for the purpose of development, then even poverty ceases to be "bad Karma." Strength comes only through trial and exercise. In poverty are some of the greatest tests for endurance, the


best means for developing the strength of character which alone leads to greatness. These egos, then, whom we perceive around us encased in bodies whose environment is so harsh that endurance is needed to sustain the struggle, are voluntarily, for all we know, going through that difficult school so as to acquire further deep experience and with it strength.

The old definition of what is good and what bad Karma is the best. That is: "Good Karma is that which is pleasing to Ishwara, and bad that which is displeasing to Ishwara." There is here but very little room for dispute as to poverty or wealth; for the test and measure are not according to our present evanescent human tastes and desires, but are removed to the judgment of the immortal self―Ishwara. The self may not wish for the pleasures of wealth, but seeing the necessity for discipline decides to assume life among mortals in that low station where endurance, patience, and strength may be acquired by experience. There is no other way to implant in the character the lessons of life.

It may then be asked if all poverty and low condition are good Karma? This we can answer, under the rule laid down, in the negative. Some such lives, indeed many of them, are bad Karma, displeasing to the immortal self imprisoned in the body, because they are not by deliberate choice, but the result of causes blindly set in motion in previous lives, sure to result in planting within the person the seeds of wickedness that must later be uprooted with painful effort. Under this canon, then, we would say that the masses of poor people who are not bad in nature are enduring oftener than not good Karma, because it is in the line of experience Ishwara has chosen, and that only those poor people who are wicked can be said to be suffering bad Karma, because they are doing and making that which is displeasing to the immortal self within.

Path, July, 1891William Brehon, F.T.S.


TO the Western mind the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation contain difficulties which while they seem imaginary to the Eastern student are nevertheless for the Western man as real as any of the other numerous obstructions in the path of salvation. All difficulties are more or less imaginary, for the whole world and all its entanglements are said to be an illusion resulting from the notion of a separate I. But while we exist here in matter, and so long as there is a manifested universe, these illusions are real to that man who has not risen above them to the knowledge that they are but the masks behind which the reality is hidden.

For nearly twenty centuries the Western nations have been building up the notion of a separate I―of meum and tuum―and it is hard for them to accept any system which goes against those notions.

As they progress in what is called material civilization with all its dazzling allurements and aids to luxury, their delusion is further increased because they appraise the value of their doctrine by the results which seem to flow from it, until at last they push so far what they call the reign of law, that it becomes a reign of terror. All duty to their fellows is excluded from it in practice, although the beautiful doctrines of Jesus are preached to the people daily by preachers who are paid to preach but not to enforce, and who cannot insist upon the practice which should logically follow the theory because the consequences would be a loss of position and livelihood.

So when out of such a nation rises a mind that asks for help


to find again the path that was lost, he is unconsciously much affected by the education not only of himself but also of his nation through all these centuries. He has inherited tendencies that are hard to be overcome. He battles with phantasms, real for him but mere dreams for the student who has been brought up under other influences.

When, therefore, he is told to rise above the body, to conquer it, to subdue his passions, his vanity, anger and ambition, he asks, "what if borne down by this environment, which I was involuntarily born into, I shall fail?" Then when told that he must fight or die in the struggle, he may reply that the doctrine of Karma is cold and cruel because it holds him responsible for the consequences which appear to be the result of that unsought environment. It then becomes with him a question whether to fight and die, or to swim on with the current careless as to its conclusion but happy if perhaps it shall carry him into smooth water whose shores are elysian.

Or perhaps he is a student of occultism whose ambition has been fired by the prospect of adept-ship, of attaining powers over nature, or what not.

Beginning the struggle he presently finds himself beset with difficulties which, not long after, he is convinced are solely the result of his environment. In his heart he says that Karma has unkindly put him where he must constantly work for a living for himself and a family: or he has a life long partner whose attitude is such that he is sure were he away from her he could progress: until at last he calls upon heaven to interpose and change the surroundings so opposed to his perfecting himself.

This man has indeed erred worse than the first. He has wrongly supposed that his environment was a thing to be hated and spurned away. Without distinctly so saying to himself, he has nursed within the recesses of his being the idea that he like Buddha could in this one life triumph over all the implacable forces and powers that bar the way to Nirvana. We should remember that the Buddha does not come every day


but is the efflorescence of ages, who when the time is ripe surely appears in one place and in one body, not to work for his own advancement but for the salvation of the world.

What then of environment and what of its power over us?

Is environment Karma or is it Reincarnation? The LAW is Karma, reincarnation is only an incident. It is one of the means which The Law uses to bring us at last to the true light. The wheel of rebirths is turned over and over again by us in obedience to this law, so that we may at last come to place our entire reliance upon Karma. Nor is our environment Karma itself, for Karma is the subtle power which works in that environment.

There is nothing but the SELF―using the word as Max Müller does to designate the Supreme Soul―and its environment. The Aryans for the latter use the word Kosams or sheaths. So that there is only this Self and the various sheaths by which it is clothed, beginning with the most intangible and coming down to the body, while outside of that and common to all is what is commonly known as environment, whereas the word should be held to include all that is not The Self.

How unphilosophical therefore it is to quarrel with our surroundings, and to desire to escape them? We only escape one kind to immediately fall into another. And even did we come into the society of the wisest devotees we would still carry the environment of the Self in our own bodies, which will always be our enemy so long as we do not know what it is in all its smallest details. Coming down then to the particular person, it is plain that that part of the environment which consists in the circumstances of life and personal surroundings is only an incident, and that the real environment to be understood and cared about is that in which Karma itself inheres in us.

Thus we see that it is a mistake to say―as we often hear it said―"If he only had a fair chance; if his surroundings were more favorable he would do better," since he really could not be in any other circumstances at that time, for if he were it


would not be he but some one else. It must be necessary for him to pass through those identical trials and disadvantages to perfect the Self; and it is only because we see but an infinitesimal part of the long series that any apparent confusion or difficulty arises. So our strife will be, not to escape from anything, but to realize that these Kosams, or sheaths, are an integral portion of ourselves, which we must fully understand before we can change the abhorred surroundings. This is done by acknowledging the unity of spirit, by knowing that everything, good and bad alike, is the Supreme. We then come into harmony with the Supreme Soul, with the whole universe, and no environment is detrimental.

The very first step is to rise from considering the mere outside delusive environment, knowing it to be the result of past lives, the fruition of Karma done, and say with Uddalaka in speaking to his son:

"All this Universe has the Deity for its life. That Deity is the Truth. He is the Universal soul. He Thou art, O Svetaketu!"*

Path, February, 1887Hadji Erinn



MR. Chairman, Fellow Theosophists, Ladies and Gentlemen: The title of what I am about to say to you is CYCLIC IMPRESSION AND RETURN AND OUR EVOLUTION. Now what is a cycle? It has nothing to do with the word psychic, and I am sorry to have to say that, because I heard some people this morning repeat the title as "psychic" instead of "cyclic," seeming to think perhaps that that was the same thing, or had some relation to it. The word cyclic is derived from the Greek word Kuklos, or a ring. It has been turned in the English language into the word cycle, by the process of saying Kykle, and then cycle. The corresponding word in the Sanscrit is Kalpa, which has in fact a wider and a deeper meaning; because cycle in English is a word which covers, is used for, and thus somewhat confuses, many cycles. It is used for the small cycles, and the larger cycles, the intermediate cycles and the great ones, whereas the word Kalpa means and implies only one cycle of a large size, and the smaller cycles within that are designated by other words.

What is a cycle? It is a circle, a ring. But not properly a ring like a wedding ring, which runs into itself, but more properly like a screw thread, which takes the form of a spiral, and thus beginning at the bottom, turns on itself, and goes up. It is something like the great Horseshoe Curve in the Pennsylvania Railroad. There you go around the curve at the lower end; you go down into the horseshoe, and as you turn the grade rises, so that when you arrive at the opposite side you have gotten no further than the beginning, but you have risen just


the distance between the two ends of the grade.

But what do we mean by a cycle in Theosophy, in our own investigations of nature, or man, or civilization, or our own development, our own origin, our own destiny? We mean by cycles, just what the Egyptians, the Hindoos and the philosophers of the Middle Ages meant by it; that is, that there is a periodical return or cycling back, circling back of something from some place once more. That is why it is called cycle, inasmuch as it returns upon itself, seemingly; but in the Theosophical doctrine, and in the ancient doctrines, it is always a little higher in the sense of perfection or progress. That is to say, as the Egyptians held, cycles prevail everywhere, things come back again, events return, history comes back, and so in this century we have the saying: "History repeats itself."

But where do Theosophists say that cyclic law prevails? We say that it prevails everywhere. It prevails in every kingdom of nature, in the animal kingdom, the mineral world, the human world; in history, in the sky, on the earth. We say that not only do cycles pertain, and appertain, and obtain in and to the earth and its inhabitants, but also in what the Hindoos call the three kingdoms of the universe, the three worlds; that is, that below us, ourselves, and that above.

Now, if you will turn to Buckle, a great writer of the English school, you will find him saying in one of his standard books, a great book often quoted, that there is no doubt cyclic law prevails in regard to nations, that they have come back apparently the same, only slightly improved or degraded, for there is also a downward cycle included within those that rise; but Buckle did not discover a law. He simply once more stated what the ancients had said over and over again. And it has always seemed to me that if Buckle and other people of that kind would pay a little more attention to the ancients, they would save themselves a great deal of trouble, for he obtained his law by much delving, much painstaking labor, whereas he might have gotten the law if he had consulted the ancients, who always taught that there were cycles, and that there always will be cycles.


Among the ancients they had a great many large and important cycles. In their classification they had a Saros and a Naros, which are not understood today by us. They are known to some extent, but what exactly they are, we do not know. The Egyptians taught that there was a great sidereal cycle, and that is recognized today, at last; that is the cycle of 25,000 years, the great one caused by the fact that the sun went through the signs of the Zodiac in that length of time. Now, I do not assume that you know nothing about astronomy, but in order to make it clear, it will be better for me to state this over again, just as it is. The sun goes through the signs of the Zodiac from day to day and from year to year, but at the same time, in going through the signs of the Zodiac, he goes back slowly, like the hands of a clock ticking off the time. In going through that period he comes back to the same point again, and retards himself, or goes back; that is called the precession of the equinoxes, and it is so many seconds in such a length of time. Those seconds in the sky turned into time show you that the sun takes 25,000 and odd years to come back to the place from which he started out at any particular time; that is to say, if you imagine that on the first of April, this year, the sun was in such a degree of Aries, one of the signs of the Zodiac, he will not get back to that sign by the precession of the equinoxes until 25,000 years have passed away.

Now, the sun is the center of our solar system and the earth revolves around it, and as the earth revolves she turns upon her axis. The sun, it is known now by astronomers, as it was known by the ancients (who were ourselves in fact), revolves around a center. That is, that while we are going around the sun, he is going around some other center, so that we describe in the sky not a circle around the sun, but a spiral, as we move with the sun around his enormous orbit. Now do you grasp that idea exactly? It is a very important one, for it opens up the subject to a very large extent. There is a star somewhere in the sky, we do not know where―some think it is Alcyone, or some other star, some think it may be a star


in the Pleiades, and some others think it is a star somewhere else―but they know by deduction from the known to the unknown, as Brother Thomas told you this morning, that the sun is attracted himself by some unknown center, and that he turns around it in an enormous circle, and as he turns, of course he draws the earth with him. In the course of 25,000 years in going around the signs of the Zodiac, he must take the earth into spaces where it has never yet been, for when he reaches this point in Aries, after 25,000 years, it is only apparently the same point, just as when I came around the curve of the Horseshoe, I started around the first point and went around the curve, came back to the same point, but I was higher up; I was in another position. And so, when the sun gets back again to the point in Aries, where he was on the first of April this year, he will not be in the exact position in the universe of space, but he will be somewhere else, and in his journey of 25,000 years through billions upon billions of miles, he draws the earth into spaces where she never was before, and never will be as that earth again. He must draw her into cosmic spaces where things are different, and thus cause changes in the earth itself, for changes in cosmic matter in the atmosphere, in the space where the sun draws the earth, must affect the earth and all its inhabitants. The ancients investigated this subject, and declared long ago this 25,000 years cycle, but it is only just lately, so to speak, that we are beginning to say we have discovered this. We know, as Nineteenth century astronomers, that it is a fact, or that it must be a fact, from deduction, but they knew it was a fact because they had observed it themselves and recorded the observations.

The Egyptians had also the cycle of the Moon, which we know, and they had more cycles of the moon than we have, for the moon not only has her cycle of twenty-eight days, when she changes from full to disappearance, and then again to youth, but she also has a period of return somewhere over fourteen years, which must itself have its effect upon the earth.

Then they said, also, that the human soul had its cycle,


it being 5,000 years. That is, the man died, or the king died, and his body was turned into a mummy in the hope that when, after his five thousand years cycle had elapsed and he came back once more to earth, he would find his mummy there? No; but that no one else should have taken his mummied atoms and made a bad use of them.

Mummification is explained by us in another way. Their knowledge of the law of cycles caused them to make the first mummy. They held that a human soul returned; they also held that all atoms are alive, just as we do; that they are sensitive points; that they have intelligence belonging to the plane on which they are, and that the man who misuses atoms of matter, such as you have in your bodies and your brains, must stand the consequences. Consequently, saying that to themselves, they said, "If I die, and leave those atoms, which I have used so well, perhaps some other man will take them and use them badly, so I will preserve them as far as possible until I return, and then by a process destroy the combination of atoms, absorb them into some place, or position, where they might be put to good use." That may seem offensive to some today, but I am merely repeating the theory. I am not saying whether I believe it or not.

The ancient Egyptians who held these theories have disappeared and left nothing behind but the pyramids, the temples of Thebes, the Sphinxes and all the great monuments which are slowly being discovered by us. Where have they gone? Have they come back? Do the Copts now in Egypt represent them? I think not, although heredity is the boasted explanation of everything. The Copts are their descendants? They know nothing, absolutely nothing but a simple language, and they live the life of slaves, and yet they are the descendants of the ancient Egyptians! What has become of them? The ancient Egyptians we think were co-laborers with the ancient Hindoos, whose cycle remains; that is to say, whose descendants remain, holding the knowledge, in part, of their forefathers, and we find that the Hindoos have held always the same theories as to cycles as the Egyptians held. They divided the ages of the world. They say manifestation begins,


and then it lasts for a period called a Kalpa, an enormous number of years; that Kalpa is divided into ages. The small cycle is composed of a large number of years; one will be four thousand, another four hundred thousand, another will be a million, and so on, making a total which we cannot grasp with the mind but which we can write upon the paper.

Now, the idea of cycles came from the Hindoos, through the nations who spread out from there, for it is admitted that the land of Hindustan is the cradle of the race. The Aryan race came down into Christendom, so that we find the Christians, the Romans, the Greeks and all people around that time holding the same theories as to cycles; that is, that cyclic law prevails everywhere. We find it in the ancient mystics, the Christian mystics, the middle age mystics and the mystics of times nearer to ours.

If you will read the works of Higgins, who wrote the Anacalypsis, you will find there laborious compilations and investigations on the subject of the cycles. Do they obtain? Is there such a thing as a cycle which affects human destiny?

Coming closer to our own personal life, we can see that cycles do and must prevail, for the sun rises in the morning and goes to the center of the sky, descends in the west; the next day he does the same thing, and following him, you rise. You come to the highest point of your activity, and you go to sleep. So day follows night and night follows day. Those are cycles, small cycles, but they go to make the greater ones. You were born, at about seven years of age you began to get discretion to some extent. A little longer and you reach manhood, then you begin to fall, and at last you finish the great day of your life when body dies.

In looking at nature we also find that there are summer and winter, spring and autumn. These are cycles, and every one of them affects the earth, with the human beings upon it.

The esoteric doctrine that Brother Mead has been talking about, the inner doctrine of the old theosophists and the present day theosophists, to be found in every old literature and religious book, is that cyclic law is the supreme law governing


our evolution; that reincarnation, which we talk so much about, is cyclic law in operation and is supreme. For what is reincarnation but a coming back again to life, just what the ancient Egyptians taught and which we are finding out to be probably true, for in no other way than by this cyclic law of reincarnation can we account for the problems of life that beset us; with this we account for our own character, each one different from the other, and with a force peculiar to each person.

This being the supreme law, we have to consider another one, which is related to it and contained in the title I have adopted. That is the law of the return of impressions. What do we mean by that? I mean, those acts and thoughts performed by a nation―not speaking about the things that affect nature, although it is governed by the same law―constitute an impression. That is to say, your coming to this convention creates in your nature an impression. Your going into the street and seeing a street brawl creates an impression. Your having a quarrel last week and denouncing a man, or with a woman and getting very angry, creates an impression in you, and that impression is as much subject to cyclic law as the moon, and the stars, and the world, and is far more important in respect to your development―your personal development or evolution―than all these other great things, for they affect you in the mass, whereas these little ones affect you in detail.

This Theosophical doctrine in respect to cycles, and the evolution of the human race, I think is known to you all, for I am assuming that you are all theosophists.

It is to be described somewhat in this way: Imagine that before this earth came out of the gaseous condition there existed an earth somewhere in space, let us call it the moon, for that is the exact theory. The moon was once a large and vital body full of beings. It lived its life, went through its cycles, and at last having lived its life, after vast ages had passed away, came to the moment when it had to die; that is, the moment came when the beings on that earth had to leave it, because its period had elapsed, and then began from that


earth the exodus. You can imagine it as a flight of birds migrating. Did you ever see birds migrate? I have seen them migrate in a manner that perhaps not many of you have. In Ireland, and perhaps in England, the swallows migrate in a manner very peculiar. When I was a boy, I used to go to my uncle's place where there was an old mass of stone ruins at the end of the garden, and by some peculiar combination of circumstances the swallows of the whole neighboring counties collected there. The way they gathered there was this: When the period arrived, you could see them coming in all parts of the sky, and they would settle down and twitter on this pile of stone all day, and fly about. When the evening came―twilight―they raised in a body and formed an enormous circle. It must have been over forty feet in diameter, and that circle of swallows flew around in the sky, around this tower, around and around for an hour or two, making a loud twittering noise, and that attracted from other places swallows who had probably forgotten the occasion. They kept that up for several days, until one day the period arrived when they must go, and they went away―some were left behind, some came a little early, and some came too late. Other birds migrate in other ways. And so these human birds migrated from the moon to this spot where the earth began (I don't know where it is―a spot in space―) and settled down as living beings, entities, not with bodies, but beings, in that mass of matter, at that point in space, informed it with life, and at last caused this earth to become a ball with beings upon it. And then cycles began to prevail, for the impressions made upon these fathers when they lived in the ancient―mind fails to think how ancient―civilization of the moon, came back again when they got to this earth, and so we find the races of the earth rising up and falling, rising again and falling, rising and falling, and at last coming to what they are now, which is nothing to what they will be, for they go ever higher and higher. That is the theory, broadly, and in that is included the theory of the races, the great seven races who inhabited the earth successively, the great seven Adams who peopled the earth;


and at last when this earth shall come to its time of life, its period, all the beings on it will fly away from it to some other spot in space to evolve new worlds as elder brothers who have done the same thing before in other spaces in nature. We are not doing this blindly. It has been done before by others―no one knows when it began. It had nothing in the way of a beginning, it will have no end, but there are always elder brothers of the race, who live on. As some have written, we cannot turn back the cycles in their course. The fire of patriotism cannot prevail against the higher destiny which will plunge a nation into darkness. All we can do is to change it here and there a little. The elder brothers are subject to law, but they have confidence and hope, because that law merely means that they appear to go down, in order to rise again at a greater height. So that we have come up through the cyclic law from the lowest kingdoms of nature. That is, we are connected in an enormous brotherhood, which includes not only the white people of the earth and the black people of the earth, and the yellow people, but the animal kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the mineral kingdom and the unseen elemental kingdom. You must not be so selfish as to suppose that it includes only men and women. It includes everything, every atom in this solar system. And we come up from lower forms, and are learning how to so mould and fashion, use and abuse, or impress the matter that comes into our charge, into our bodies, our brains and our psychical nature, so that that matter shall be an improvement to be used by the younger brothers who are still below us, perhaps in the stone beneath our feet. I do not mean by that that there is a human being in that stone. I mean that every atom in the stone is not dead matter. There is no dead matter anywhere, but every atom in that stone contains a life, unintelligent, formless, but potential, and at some period in time far beyond our comprehension, all of those atoms in that stone will have been released. The matter itself will have been refined, and at last all in this great cycle of progress will have been brought up the steps of the ladder, in order to let some others lower still in a


state we cannot understand come up to them.

That is the real theory. Is that superstition? If you believe the newspapers that is superstition, for they will twist and turn everything you say. Your enemies will say you said there was a man in that stone, and that you have been a stone. You have not been a stone, but the great monad, the pilgrim who came from other worlds has been in every stone, has been in every kingdom, and now has reached the state of man, to show whether he is able to continue being a man, or whether he will once more fall back, like the boy at school who will not learn, into the lowest class.

Now then, this law of impressions I have been talking about can be illustrated in this way: If you look at one of these electric lights―take away all the rest, leaving one only, so as to have a better impression―you will find the light makes an image on the retina, and when you shut your eye, this bright filament of light made by a carbon in an incandescent lamp will be seen by you in your eye. You can try it, and see for yourselves. If you keep your eye closed and watch intently, you will see the image come back a certain number of counts, it will stay a certain number of counts, it will go away in the same length of time and come back again, always changing in some respect but always the image of the filament, until at last the time comes when it disappears apparently because other impressions have rubbed it out or covered it over. That means that there is a return even in the retina of the impression of this filament. After the first time, the color changes each time, and so it keeps coming back at regular intervals, showing that there is a cyclic return of impression in the retina, and as Brother Thomas said this morning, if that applies in one place, it applies in every place. And when we look into our moral character we find the same thing, for as we have the tides in the ocean, explained as they say by the moon―which in my opinion does not explain it, but of course, being no scientist, my view is not worth much so in man we have tides, which are called return of these impressions; that is to say, you do a thing once, there will be a tendency to repeat


itself; you do it twice, and it doubles its influence, a greater tendency to do that same thing again. And so on all through our character shows this constant return of cyclic impression. We have these impressions from every point in space, every experience we have been through, everything that we can possibly go through at any time, even those things which our forefathers went through. And that is not unjust for this reason, that our forefathers furnished the line of bodily encasement, and we cannot enter that line of bodily encasement unless we are like unto it, and for that reason we must have been at some point in that cycle in that same line or family in the past, so that I must have had a hand in the past in constructing the particular family line in which I now exist, and am myself once more taking up the cyclic impression returning upon me.

Now this has the greatest possible bearing upon our evolution as particular individuals, and that is the only way in which I wish to consider the question of evolution here; not the broad question of the evolution of the universe, but our own evolution, which means our bodily life, as Madame Blavatsky, repeating the ancients, said to us so often, and as we found said by so many of the same school. An opportunity will arise for you to do something; you do not do it; you may not have it again for one hundred years. It is the return before you of some old thing that was good, if it is a good one, along the line of the cycles. You neglect it, as you may, and the same opportunity will return, mind you, but it may not return for many hundred years. It may not return until another life, but it will return under the same law.

Now take another case. I have a friend who is trying to find out all about theosophy, and about a psychic nature, but I have discovered that he is not paying the slightest attention to this subject of the inevitable return upon himself of these impressions which he creates. I discovered he had periods of depression (and this will answer for everybody), when he had a despondency that he could not explain. I said to him, you have had the same despondency maybe seven weeks ago,


maybe eight weeks ago, maybe five weeks ago. He examined his diary and his recollection, and he found that he had actual recurrences of despondency about the same distance apart. Well, I said, that explains to me how it is coming back. But what am I to do? Do what the old theosophists taught us; that is, we can only have these good results by producing opposite impressions to bad ones. So, take this occasion of despondency. What he should have done was, that being the return of an old impression, to have compelled himself to feel joyous, even against his will, and if he could not have done that, then to have tried to feel the joy of others. By doing that, he would have implanted in himself another impression, that is of joy, so that when this thing returned once more, instead of being of the same quality and extension, it would have been changed by the impression of joy or elation and the two things coming together would have counteracted each other, just as two billiard balls coming together tend to counteract each other’s movements. This applies to every person who has the blues. This does not apply to me, and I think it must be due to the fact that in some other life I have had the blues. I have other things, but the blues never.

I have friends and acquaintances who have these desponding spells. It is the return of old cyclic impressions, or the cyclic return of impressions. What are you to do? Some people say, I just sit down and let it go; that is to say, you sit there and create it once more. You cannot rub it out if it has been coming, but when it comes start up something else, start up cheerfulness, be good to some one, then try to relieve some other person who is despondent, and you will have started another impression, which will return at the same time. It does not make any difference if you wait a day or two to do this. The next day, or a few days after will do, for when the old cyclic impression returns, it will have dragged up the new one, because it is related to it by association.

This has a bearing also on the question of the civilization in which we are a point ourselves.

Who are we? Where are we going? Where have we come


from? I told you that the old Egyptians disappeared. If you inquire into Egyptian history, the most interesting because the most obscure, you will find, as the writers say, that the civilization seems to rise to the zenith at once. We do not see when it began. The civilization was so great it must have existed an enormous length of time to get to that height, so that we cannot trace it from its beginning, and it disappears suddenly from the sky; there is nothing of it left but the enormous remains which testify to these great things, for the ancient Egyptians not only made mummies in which they displayed the art of bandaging that we cannot better, but they had put everything to such a degree of specialization that we must conclude they had many centuries of civilization. There was a specialist for one eye and a specialist for the other, a specialist for the eyebrow, and so on. In my poor and humble opinion, we are the Egyptians.

We have come back again, after our five thousand or whatever years cycle it is, and we have dragged back with us some one called the Semitic race, with which we are connected by some old impression that we cannot get rid of, and so upon us is impinged that very Semitic image. We have drawn back with us, by the inevitable law of association in cyclic return, some race, some personages connected with us by some acts of ours in that great old civilization now disappeared, and we cannot get rid of it; we must raise them up to some other plane as we raise ourselves.

I think in America is the evidence that this old civilization is coming back, for in the theosophical theory nothing is lost. If we were left to records, buildings and the like, they would soon disappear and nothing could ever be recovered; there never would be any progress. But each individual in the civilization, wherever it may be, puts the record in himself, and when he comes into the favorable circumstances described by Patanjali, an old Hindoo, when he gets the apparatus, he will bring out the old impression. The ancients say each act has a thought under it, and each thought makes a mental impression; and when the apparatus is provided, there will then


arise that new condition, in rank, place and endowment.

So we retain in ourselves the impression of all the things that we have done, and when the time comes that we have cycled back, over and over again, through the middle ages perhaps, into England, into Germany, into France, we come at last to an environment such as is provided here, just the thing physically and every other way to enable us to do well, and to enable the others who are coming after us. I can almost see them; they are coming in a little army from the countries of the old world to endeavor to improve this one; for here ages ago there was a civilization also, perhaps we were in it then, perhaps anterior to the ancient Egyptians. It disappeared from here, when we do not know, and it left this land arid for many thousands of years until it was discovered once more by the Europeans. The ancient world, I mean Europe, has been poisoned, the land has been soaked with the emanations, poisoned by the emanations of the people who have lived upon it; the air above it is consequently poisoned by the emanations from the land; but here in America, just the place for the new race, is an arable land which has had time over and over again to destroy the poisons that were planted here ages and ages ago. It gives us a new land, with vibrations in the air that stir up every particle in a man who breathes it, and thus we find the people coming from the old world seeming to receive through their feet the impressions of an American country. All this bears upon our civilization and race.

We are here a new race in a new cycle, and persons who know say that a cycle is going to end in a few years and a new one begin, and that that ending and beginning will be accompanied by convulsions of society and of nature. We can all almost see it coming. The events are very complete in the sky. You remember Daniel says, "A time, half a time, and a time," and so on, and people in the Christian system have been trying to find out the time when the time began, and that is just the difficulty. We do not know when the time began. And the only person who in all these many years has made a direct statement is Madame Blavatsky, and she said, "A cycle


is ending in a few years, you must prepare." So that it was like the old prophets who came to the people and said, "Prepare for a new era of things, get ready for what you have to do." That is just what this civilization is doing. It is the highest, although the crudest, civilization now on the earth. It is the beginning of the great civilization that is to come, when old Europe has been destroyed: when the civilizations of Europe are unable to do any more, then this will be the place where the new great civilization will begin to put out a hand once more to grasp that of the ancient East, who has sat there silently doing nothing all these years, holding in her ancient crypts and libraries and records the philosophy which the world wants, and it is this philosophy and this ethics that the Theosophical Society is trying to give you. It is a philosophy you can understand and practice.

It is well enough to say to a man, Do right, but after a while, in this superstitious era, he will say, Why should I do right, unless I feel like it? When you are showing these laws, that he must come back in his cycle; that he is subject to evolution; that he is a reincarnated pilgrim soul, then he will see the reason why, and then in order to get him a secure basis, he accepts the philosophy, and that is what the theosophical society and the theosophical movement are trying to do. Brother George Mead said the other day, in speaking of a subject like this, that the great end and aim is the great renunciation. That is, that after progressing to great heights, which you can only do by unselfishness, at last you say to yourself, "I may take the ease to which I am entitled." For what prevails in one place must prevail in another, and in the course of progress we must come at last to a time when we can take our ease, but if you say to yourself, "I will not take it, but as I know this world and all the people on it are bound to live and last for many thousand years more, and if not helped perhaps might fail, I will not take it but I will stay here and I will suffer, because of having greater knowledge and greater sensitiveness"―this is the great renunciation as theosophy tells us. I know we do not often talk this way, because


many of us think that the people will say to us at once when we talk of the great renunciation, "I don't want it; it is too much trouble." So generally we talk about the fine progress, and how you will at last escape the necessity of reincarnation, and at last escape the necessity of doing this or that and the other, but if you do your duty, you must make up your mind when you reach the height, when you know all, when you participate in the government of the world―not of a town, but the actual government of the world and the people upon it―instead of sleeping away your time, you will stay to help those who are left behind, and that is the great renunciation. That is what is told of Buddha, and of Jesus. Doubtless the whole story about Jesus, which cannot be proved historically to my mind, is based upon the same thing that we call renunciation. He was crucified after two or three years work. But we say it means that this being divine resolves he will crucify himself in the eyes of the world, in the eyes of others, so that he can save men. Buddha did the same thing long before Jesus is said to have been born. The story that he made the great renunciation just means that which I have been telling you, instead of escaping from this horrible place, as it seems to us. For this is indeed horrible, as we look at it, surrounded by obstructions, liable to defeat at any moment, liable to wake up in the morning after planning a great reform, and see it dashed to the ground. Instead of escaping all that, he remained in the world and started his doctrine, which he knew at least would be adhered to by some. But this great doctrine of renunciation teaches that instead of working for yourself, you will work to know everything, to do everything in your power for those who may be left behind you, just as Madame Blavatsky says in the Voice of the Silence, "Step out of the sunshine into the shade, to make more room for others."

Isn't that better than a heaven which is reached at the price of the damnation of those of your relatives who will not believe a dogma? Is this not a great philosophy and a great religion which includes the salvation and regeneration, the


scientific upraising and perfecting of the whole human family, and every particle in the whole universe, instead of imagining that a few miserable beings after seventy years of life shall enter into paradise, and then they look behind to see the torments in hell of those who would not accept a dogma?

What are these other religions compared with that? How any man can continue to believe such an idea as the usual one of damnation for merely unbelief I cannot comprehend. I had rather―if I had to choose―be an idolator of the most pronounced kind, who believed in Indra, and be left with my common reasoning, than believe in such a doctrine as that which permits me to suppose that my brother who does not believe a dogma is sizzling in hell while I, by simply believing, may enjoy myself in heaven.

Theosophists, if they will learn the doctrine and try to explain it, will reform this world. It will percolate everywhere, infiltrate into every stratum of society and prevent the need of legislation. It will alter the people, whereas you go on legislating and leaving this world's people as they are, and you will have just what happened in France. Capitalists in that day, in the day of the revolution―that is the royalists―oppressed the people. At last the people rose up and philosophers of the day instituted the reign of reason, and out of the reign of reason―mind you they had introduced there a beautiful idea of mankind, that idea struck root in a soil that was not prepared―came the practice of murdering other people by the wholesale until streams of blood ran all over France. So you see if something is not done to raise the people what the result will be. We have seen in Chicago the result of such acts, the mutterings of such a storm if the theosophical philosophy―call it by any other name you like―is not preached and understood. But if these old doctrines are not taught to the race you will have a revolution, and instead of making progress in a steady, normal fashion, you will come up to better things through storm, trouble and sorrow. You will come up, of course, for even out of revolutions and blood there comes progress, but isn't it better to have progress without that? And


that is what the theosophical philosophy is intended for. That is why the Mahatmas we were talking about, directing their servant H. P. Blavatsky, as they have directed many before, came out at a time when materialism was fighting religion and was about getting the upper hand, and once more everything moved forward in its cyclic way and these old doctrines were revivified under the guidance of the theosophical movement. They are doctrines that explain all problems and in the universal scheme give man a place as a potential god.


A CORRESPONDENT is confused on this subject from the statement in What is Theosophy by Mr. Old, that we are in the midst of the Iron or Black Age. Doubtless his sentence, which is on page 28 of the book, is misleading, because "kali" means "black," and hence it would seem that he meant we are now in the middle of Kali Yuga, but reading further it is seen that he refers only to the first part of the Age. Kali Yuga is in length 432,000 years according to the old Indian calculation, and we are now coming to the end of its first five thousand years, that preliminary period being reckoned from the death of Krishna. In passing, it may be justly thought that this five thousand year period is the origin of the idea of the Hebrews that the world is about that age, just as the Greeks in the time of Solon imagined that all things had to count from their former great cataclysm, but which the Egyptian priests showed to Solon was incorrect, for, as they said, "There had been many great cataclysms before that."

In the Secret Doctrine is to be found this: "The fourth sub-race was in Kali Yuga when destroyed." This is not amenable to objection on the ground that we who are not that race are in Kali, for each race goes through the various Ages for itself; hence the former races, both primary and sub-, go through all the four periods from the Golden to the Black.

It must follow from this, and such is the oldest teaching on the subject, that at one and the same time races may be on the earth running each for itself through one or other of the periods. Some might be in the Golden Age and others in the Black. At present it is admitted that the Aryans are in the Kali


Age, but certain childlike races are not so. Within the present five thousand year period we know that races have absolutely finished their Kali Yuga and gone out of existence. This happened to that which ruled a part of the American continent, and hence for them in particular their Kali Yuga must have begun earlier than ours did. The Hottentots also disappeared during our memory. This method of considering the subject will clear it up, leaving only to be settled for each race the period which they are in, or the beginning and ending of it. And, as said, for the Aryans the great Kali Yuga began five thousand (odd) years ago.

To find out when the great Kali Yuga for the major race, including all its sub-races, began would be impossible, as there are no means, and H.P.B., the only one for the present who had access to those who held the records, said precise figures on those heads would not be given out. But she and also those behind her who gave her so much information laid it down, as in accord with the philosophy of nature given out, that a division into four was the order for evolution in respect to the life of races, and hence that each great race, whatever its number in the whole seven, would be compelled to go through the four periods from the Satya to Kali, while at the same time the minor races had the same division, only that each part would be shorter than those pertaining to the great race as a whole. For that reason it seems plain that the figures for the various Ages (or Yugas) are only such as relate to and govern the sub- or minor races.

The overlapping of races as to their particular Yuga (or Age) can be easily seen in history. When the whites came to America the Indians were in their stone age in some places, using stone hammers, spears, knives, and arrows. Even in cultured South America the priests used stone knives for use at the sacrifices. We, however, had gone far beyond that. The red Indian of North America would have remained wholly in the stone age had we not altered it to some extent while we proceeded as instruments for his annihilation. Therefore in our own period we have examples of two races being in differ-


ent Ages while living at the same time on the globe.

The foregoing is the general scheme outlined in the Secret Doctrine, where there are numerous pages showing that when a new race, whether a sub or a major one, comes in it does so while many of the old race still exist, the one gradually rising in development while the other falls. They shade into one another as night does into day, until at last either night or day predominates. This period of shading is allowed for in regard to the Ages, and in the Brahmanical calculation we find that they add twilights and dawns, since preceding a new Age there must be the dawn as following it will come the twilight. The twilight of the one will be the dawn of the other.

Using the Zodiac for the purpose of considering the question of the Ages, we find that, roughly speaking, the time taken by the sun to go round the whole circle is 25,800 years, as shown by the retrograde movement of the equinoctial points. This is the type for the yearly circle, which makes the four seasons and the four seasons in their turn symbolize the four Ages. Their length will be in proportion to the greater swing of the sun. Among the seasons the winter corresponds to the Kali Age, for then all is turned hard and cold, just as in the Black Age, the light of the Spiritual Sun being dimmed, the hardness and coldness of materiality appear in the moral life. Now if the sidereal period be divided by four, we have the figures 6450 years, or the five-thousand-year period with the requisite twilight or dawn added. And it was taught by the Egyptians that with every quarter of the circle of the Sun's great path there were changes caused physically by the alteration of the poles, and spiritually there must be changes due to the inner development of the human race as an entirety. While the materialistic philosopher thinks the changes would be due to the movement of the poles, the teaching from the Lodge is that the spiritual inner changes cause the physical ones through the appropriate means; in this case those means are in the movements of the great heavenly bodies. This is because the whole Cosmos is on the same grand plan, with all its parts working together, each in its own way.


For the present, students will have to be satisfied with the general statement that we are in Kali Yuga. The characteristics of the present time show it clearly enough, for while physical civilization is high the spiritual side of it is low and dark, and selfishness is the prevailing order. None of us can really pretend to know more than this, for while we have the Brahmanical calculation and the words of the Secret Doctrine, yet that is taking the word of another, plausible, of course, and also concordant with all other parts of the system, but still not of our own knowledge. The beginning of this Age and the time of its ending are dark to us; but the general theory, sufficient for our present needs, is perfectly clear, and as good an assumption as any of those indulged in by science certainly better than the incredible ideas of the theologian. Of one thing we are getting more and more proof each day, and that is of the immense period during which man has been on the earth, and with that admitted all the great cyclic lengths given by the ancient and modern Theosophists of weight are entitled to credence.

We can also get great comfort from the theory given out at various times, that in Kali Yuga a small effort goes farther for results than the same when made in a better Age. In the other Ages the rates of all things are slower than in this; hence, evil now seems quick; but in the same way good is also much quicker in effect and reach than in a slower time.

Path, November, 1894


IN the first number of THE PATH was inserted a prophecy made from certain books in India called Nadigrandhams, respecting the Society.

This called forth from the N.Y. Sun, that model of journalism, a long tirade about the superficial knowledge which it claims pervades the Society on the subject of oriental philosophy. Unfortunately for the learned editorial writer in that paper, he never before heard of Nadigrandhams, which are almost as common in India as the Sun is here, nor does he appear to know what a Nadi may be, nor a Grandham, either.

But without trying to drag the daily press of this country into the path of oriental knowledge, we will proceed to record another prophecy or two.

The first will seem rather bold, but is placed far enough in the future to give it some value as a test. It is this:―The Sanscrit language will one day be again the language used by man upon this earth, first in science and in metaphysics, and later on in common life. Even in the lifetime of the Sun's witty writer, he will see the terms now preserved in that noblest of languages creeping into the literature and the press of the day, cropping up in reviews, appearing in various books and treatises, until even such men as he will begin perhaps to feel that they all along had been ignorantly talking of "thought" when they meant "cerebration," and of "philosophy" when they meant "philology," and that they had been airing a superficial knowledge gained from cyclopædias of the mere lower powers of intellect, when in fact they were totally ig-


norant of what is really elementary knowledge. So this new language cannot be English, not even the English acquired by the reporter of daily papers who ascends fortuitously to the editorial rooms―but will be one which is scientific in all that makes a language, and has been enriched by ages of study of metaphysics and the true science.

The secondary prophecy is nearer our day, and may be interesting.―It is based upon cyclic changes. This is a period of such a change, and we refer to the columns of the N.Y. Sun of the time when the famous brilliant sunsets were chronicled and discussed not long ago for the same prognostication. No matter about dates; they are not to be given; but facts may be. This glorious country, free as it is, will not long be calm: Unrest is the word for this cycle. The people will rise. For what, who can tell? The statesman who can see for what the uprising will be might take measures to counteract. But all your measures can not turn back the iron will of fate. And even the City of New York will not be able to point its finger at Cincinnati and St. Louis. Let those whose ears can hear the whispers, and the noise of the gathering clouds, of the future, take notice; let them read, if they know how, the physiognomy of the United States, whereon the mighty hand of nature has traced the furrows to indicate the character of the moral storms that will pursue their course no matter what the legislation may be. But enough. Theosophists can go on unmoved, for they know that as Krishna said to Arjuna, these bodies are not the real man, and that "no one has ever been non-existent nor shall any of us ever cease to exist."

Path, May, 1886


MEN of all nations for many years in all parts of the world have been expecting something they know not what, but of a grave nature, to happen in the affairs of the world. The dogmatic and literal Christians, following the vague prophecies of Daniel, look every few years for their millennium. This has not come, though predicted for almost every even year, and especially for such as 1000, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, and now for the year 2000. The red Indians also had their ghost dances not long ago in anticipation of their Messiahs coming.

The Theosophists too, arguing with the ancients and relying somewhat on the words of H. P. Blavatsky, have not been backward in respect to the signs of the times.

But the Theosophical notions about the matter are based on something more definite than a vague Jewish priests vaticinations. We believe in cycles and in their sway over the affairs of men. The cyclic law, we think, has been enquired into and observations recorded by the ancients during many ages; and arguing from daily experience where cycles are seen to recur over and over again, believing also in Reincarnation as the absolute law of life, we feel somewhat sure of our ground.

This cycle is known as the dark one; in Sanscrit, Kali Yuga, or the black age. It is dark because spirituality is almost obscured by materiality and pure intellectualism. Revolving in the depths of material things and governed chiefly by the mind apart from spirit, its characteristic gain is physical and material progress, its distinguishing loss is in spirituality. In this sense


it is the Kali Yuga. For the Theosophist in all ages has regarded loss of spirituality as equivalent to the state of death or darkness; and mere material progress in itself is not a sign of real advancement, but may have in it the elements for its own stoppage and destruction. Preëminently this age has all these characteristics in the Western civilizations. We have very great progress to note in conquests of nature, in mechanical arts, in the ability to pander to love of luxury, in immense advancements with wonderful precision and power in the weapons made for destroying life. But side by side with these we have wretchedness, squalor, discontent, and crime; very great wealth in the hands of the few, and very grinding poverty overcoming the many.

As intellectualism is the ruler over this progress in material things, we must next consider the common people, so called, who have escaped from the chains which bound them so long. They are not exempt from the general law, and hence, having been freed, they feel more keenly the grinding of the chains of circumstance, and therefore the next characteristic of the cycle―among human beings―is unrest. This was pointed out in the PATH in Vol. I, p. 58, May, 1886, in these words:

The second prophecy is nearer our day and may be interesting; it is based upon cyclic changes. This is a period of such a change, and we refer to the columns of the Sun (of the time when the famous brilliant sunsets were chronicled and discussed not long ago) for the same prognostication. . . . This glorious country, free as it is, will not long be calm; unrest is the word for this cycle. The people will rise. For what, who can tell? The statesman who can see for what the uprising will be might take measures to counteract. But all your measures cannot turn back the iron wheel of fate. And even the city of New York will not be able to point its finger at Cincinnati and St. Louis. Let those whose ears can hear the whispers and the noise of the gathering clouds of the future take notice; let them read, if they know how, the physiognomy of the United States whereon the mighty hand of nature has traced the furrows to indicate the character of the moral storms that will pursue their course no matter what the legislation may be.

This was not long after the riots in Cincinnati, and New York was warned, as well as other places inferentially, that


the disturbances in Ohio were not to be by any means the end. And now in 1892, just six years after our prophecy, three great States of the Union are in uproar, with the poor and the rich arrayed against each other, arms in hand. Pennsylvania at the works of a great factory almost in a civil war; New York calling her militia out to suppress disorder among workmen and to protect the property of corporations who have not taken a course to inspire their workers with love; and Tennessee sending military and volunteers to do battle with some thousands of armed miners who object to convicted lawbreakers being allowed to take the work and the wages away from the citizen. We are not dealing with the rights or the wrongs of either side in these struggles, but only referring to the facts. They are some of the moral signs of our cycle, and they go to prove the prognostications of the Theosophist about the moral, mental, and physical unrest. The earth herself has been showing signs of disturbance, with an island blown up in one place, long inactive volcanoes again erupting, earthquakes in unaccustomed places such as Wales and Cornwall. All these are signs. The cycle is closing, and everywhere unrest will prevail. As lands will disappear or be changed, so in like manner ideas will alter among men. And, as our civilization is based on force and devoid of a true philosophical basis, the newest race―in America―will more quickly than any other show the effect of false teachings and corrupted religion.

But out of anger and disturbance will arise a new and better time; yet not without the pain which accompanies every new birth.

Path, October, 1892



IN advancing these few observations upon the doctrine of cycles, no claim to an exhaustive study of the matter is made. This paper is merely by way of suggestion.

The subject was brought before my mind by our discussion some evenings ago, when the question of the descent upon earth, or ascent from it, of celestial beings or progressed souls engaged our attention. It seemed certain that such ascent and descent were governed by cyclic laws, and therefore proceeded in regular periods. Some sentences from the Wisdom of the Egyptians by Synesius in matter furnished me by Bro. Chas. Johnston, now of India, read:

After Osiris, therefore, was initiated by his father into the royal mysteries, the gods informed him . . . that a strong tribe of envious and malignant dæmons were present with Typhos as his patrons, to whom he was allied and by whom he was hurled forth into light, in order that they might employ him as an instrument of the evil which they inflict on mankind. For the calamities of nations are the banquets of the evil dæmons. . . .

Yet you must not think that the gods are without employment, or that their descent to this earth is perpetual. For they descend according to orderly periods of time, for the purpose of imparting a beneficent impulse in the republics of mankind. But this happens when they harmonize a kingdom and send to this earth for that purpose souls who are allied to themselves. For this providence is divine and most ample, which frequently through one man pays attention to and affects countless multitudes of men.


For there is indeed in the terrestrial abode the sacred tribe of heroes who pay attention to mankind, and who are able to give them assistance even in the smallest concerns This heroic tribe is, as it were, a colony from the gods established here in order that this terrene abode may not be left destitute of a better nature. But when matter excites her own proper blossoms to war against the soul, the resistance made by these heroic tribes is small when the gods are absent; for everything is strong only in its appropriate place and time But when the harmony adapted in the beginning by the gods to all terrene things becomes old, they descend again to earth that they may call the harmony forth, energize and resuscitate it when it is as it were expiring When, however, the whole order of mundane things, greatest and least, is corrupted, then it is necessary that the gods should descend for the purpose of imparting another orderly distribution of things.

And in the Bhagavad Gita it is said by Krishna:

When Righteousness
Declines, O Bharata! when Wickedness
Is strong, I rise, from age to age, and take
Visible shape, and move a man with men,
Succoring the good and thrusting the evil back,
And setting Virtue on her seat again,


At the approach of Brahmas day, which ends after a thousand ages, all manifested objects come forth from the non-developed principle. At the approach of Brahmas night they are absorbed in the original principle. This collective mass of existing things, thus coming forth out of the absolute again and again, is dissolved at the approach of that night; and at the approach of a new day it emanates again spontaneously.

In the foregoing quotations two great aspects of cyclic law are stated.

The latter has reference to the great cycle which includes all cycles of every kind. All the minor cycles run their course within it. When it begins a new creation is ushered in, and when it ends the great day of dissolution has arrived. In Arnold's translation of the Bhagavad Gita the beginning of this great cycle is beautifully called by him "this vast Dawn," and of the close he reads:


When that deep night doth darken, all which is
Fades back again to Him who sent it forth.

The real figures expressing the mortal years included in this period are not given. Each Manwantara, according to the Hindus, is divided into the four Yugas or Ages, with a certain number of years allotted to each. Speaking on this subject in the Key to Theosophy (page 83), H. P. Blavatsky gives us a clue thus:

Take as a first comparison and a help towards a more correct conception, the solar year; and as a second, the two halves of that year, producing each a day and a night of six months duration at the North Pole. Now imagine, if you can, instead of a solar year of 365 days, ETERNITY. Let the sun represent the universe, and the polar days and nights of six months each―days and nights lasting each 182 trillions and quadrillions of years instead of 182 days each. As the sun rises every morning on our objective horizon out of its (to us) subjective and antipodal space, so does the Universe emerge periodically on the plane of objectivity, issuing from that of subjectivity―the antipodes of the former. This is the "Cycle of Life." And as the sun disappears from our horizon, so does the Universe disappear at regular periods when the "Universal Night" sets in. . . .

This is about the best idea we can get of it. It is impossible for the human mind to conceive these periods. No brain can grasp 182 trillions of years, much less if quadrillions are added. Few if any persons can mentally traverse the full extent of even a million. But we can make an approximation to the idea by using her suggestion of dividing the year and calling six months a day and six months a night, and then extending each into what is equivalent to infinity with us, since it is impossible to seize such immense periods of time.

And carrying out the correspondence suggested by her, we have at once a figure of the inclusion of all the minor cycles, by calling each day when we rise and night when we sleep as the beginning and ending of minor cycles. Those days and nights go to make up our years and our life. We know each day and can calculate it, and fairly well throw the mind forward to see a year or perhaps a life.


A quotation from Vol. I., at 31 of Isis Unveiled will give us the Indian figures. She says:

The Maha-Kalpa embraces an untold number of periods far back in the antediluvian ages. Their system comprises a Kalpa or grand period of 4,320,000,000 years which they divide into four lesser yugas running as follows:

Satya yug 1,728,000 years
Treta yug 1,296,000 years
Dwapara yug 864,000 years
Kali yug 432,000 years

which make one divine age or Maha yuga; seventy-one Maha Yugas make 306,720,000 years, to which is added a sandhi, or twilight, equal to a Satya yuga or 1,728,000 years, to make a manwantara of 308,448,000 years. Fourteen manwantaras make 4,318,272,000 years, to which must be added a sandhyamsa or dawn, 1,728,000, making the Kalpa or grand period of 4,320,000,000. As we are now (1878) only in the Kali Yuga of the 28th age of the 7th manwantara of 308,448,000 years, we have yet sufficient time before us to wait before we reach even half of the time allotted to the world.

Further H. P. Blavatsky clearly states that the other cycles are carried out within this greater one, as at 34, Vol. I.

As our planet revolves once every year around the sun and at the same time once in every 24 hours upon its own axis, thus traversing minor cycles within a larger one, so is the work of the smaller cyclic periods accomplished and recommenced within the Great Saros.

Leaving the region of mathematics, we find this great period represents the extension of pigmy man into the vast proportions of the great man, whose death at the close of the allotted period means the resolving of all things back into the absolute. Each of the years of this Being embraces of our years so many that we cannot comprehend them.

Each day of his years brings on a minor cataclysm among men; for at the close of each one of his days, metaphorically he sleeps. And we, as it were, imitating this Being, fall asleep at night or after our diurnal period of activity.

We are as minor cells in the great body of this Being, and must act obediently to the impulses and movements of the


body in which we are enclosed and take part.

This greater man has a period of childhood, of youth, of manhood, of old age; and as the hour arrives for the close of each period, cataclysms take place over all the earth. And just as our own future is concealed from our view, so the duration of the secret cycle which shows the length of life of this Being is hidden from the sight of mortals.

We must not, however, fall into the error of supposing that there is but one of such great Beings. There are many, each being evolved at the beginning of a new creation. But here we touch upon a portion of the ancient philosophy which is fully explained only to those who are able to understand it by virtue of many initiations.

The Sandhya and Sandhyamsa referred to in the quotation taken from Isis Unveiled are respectively the twilight and the dawn, each being said to be of the same length and containing the same number of years as the first or golden age -i.e., 1,728,000. It is in strict correspondence with our own solar day which has its twilight and dawn between day and night.

In going over the figures of the four ages, a peculiarity is noticed to which I refer at present as merely a curiosity. It is this:

The digits of Satya Yug 1. 7. 2. 8. added together make 18; those of Treta Yug 1. 2. 9. 6 make 18; those of Dwapara Yug 8. 6. 4 make 18; while those of Kali Yug 4. 3. 2 sum up only 9; but if those of the grand total of 4,320,000 be added together they make 9, and that with Kali give 18 again. 18 is a number peculiar to Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, and the poem has 18 chapters in it. If the three 18's and one 9 found as above be added together, the result will be 63, and 3x6 = 18, and if added make 9, and 18 added gives nine. If we multiply the three 18's and 9 produced from the different ages, we get 5. 8. 3. 2. which, if treated as before, give 18 again. And in the process of thus multiplying we discover a recurrence of the three eighteens and one 9, only inverted, as: The first 18 multiplied by the second one gives 3. 2. 4, which added re-


sults in 9; 324 multiplied by the third 18 gives 5. 8. 3. 2, which being added gives 18; and the product of the multiplication of 5,832 by 9, which is the result of adding the figures of Kali Yuga, is 5. 8. 4. 1, which on being added gives 18 again.* Now, as the last of these apparently fanciful operations, let us add together the results gained by multiplying the figures which were obtained during the various steps we have gone through and then adding the results.

The first figures are 1x8 =
The second 3x2x4 = 24 
The third 5x8x3x2 = 240 
The fourth 5x8x4x1 = 160 
These added together give . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
which are the digits of Kali Yuga

Now turning to Isis Unveiled at p. 32 of Vol. 1, we find this remarkable paragraph:

Higgins justly believed that the cycle of the Indian system, of 432,000, is the true key of the secret cycle.

But in the following paragraph she declares it cannot be revealed. However, we may get some clues, for we see in the figures of Kali Yuga, 432,000, and in the great total (leaving out the Sandhis), 4,320,000. What this secret cycle is, I, however, am not competent to say. I only desire to throw out the hints.

Having thus glanced over the doctrine of the great cycle which includes all others, let us now devote a little consideration to the cycle referred to in the passages from the Egyptian Wisdom first quoted.

This cycle may be called for the present purpose The Cycle of Descending Celestial Influences. By "descending" I mean descending upon us.

Osiris here signifies most probably the good side of nature, and his brother Typhos the evil. Both must appear together. Typhos is sometimes called in the Egyptian books the opposer,

* Readers who carry out the computations here suggested will find the results confusing. It appears likely that some steps originally included were omitted by the typesetter. (Editors)


and later with us, is known as the Devil. This appearance of Typhos at the same time with Osiris is paralleled in the history of the Indian Krishna who was a white Adept, for at the same time there also reigned a powerful Black magician named Kansa, who sought to destroy Krishna in the same way as Typhos conspired against the life of Osiris. And Rama also, in Hindu lore the great Adept or ruling god, was opposed by Ravana, the powerful Black magician king.

In instructing Osiris after the initiation, the gods foresaw two questions that might arise within him and which will also come before us. The first is the idea that if the gods are alive and do not mingle with men to the advantage of the latter and for the purpose of guiding them, then they must necessarily be without any employment. Such a charge has been made against the Beings who are said to live in the Himalayas, possessed of infinite knowledge and power. If, say the public, they know so much, why do not they come among us; and as they do not so come, then they must be without employment, perpetually brooding over nothing.

The instructor answered this in advance by showing how these Beings―called gods―governed mankind through efficient causes proceeding downward by various degrees; the gods being perpetually concerned in their proper sphere with those things relating to them, and which in their turn moved other causes that produced appropriate effects upon the earth, and themselves only coming directly into earthly relations when that became necessary at certain "orderly periods of time," upon the complete disappearance of harmony which would soon be followed by destruction if not restored. Then the gods themselves descend. This is after the revolution of many smaller cycles. The same is said in Bhagavad-Gita.

But frequently during the minor cycles it is necessary, as the Egyptian Wisdom says, "to impart a beneficent impulse in the republics of mankind." This can be done by using less power than would be dissipated were a celestial Being to descend upon earth, and here the doctrine of the influence


among us of Nirmanakayas1 or Gnanis is supported in the Egyptian scheme in these words:

For there is indeed in the terrestrial abode the sacred tribe of heroes, who pay attention to mankind, and who are able to give them assistance even in the smallest concerns.

This heroic tribe is, as it were, a colony from the gods established here in order that this terrene abode may not be left destitute of a better nature.

These "heroes" are none other than Nirmanakayas―Adepts of this or previous Manwantaras―who remain here in various states or conditions. Some are not using bodies at all, but keep spirituality alive among men in all parts of the world; and others are actually using bodies in the world. Who the latter are it would of course be impossible for me to know, and if I had the information, to give it out would be improper.

And among this "sacred tribe of heroes" must be classed other souls. They are those who, although now inhabiting bodies and moving among men, have passed through many occult initiations in previous lives, but are now condemned, as it were, to the penance of living in circumstances and in bodies that hem them in, as well as for a time make them forget the glorious past. But their influence is always felt, even if they themselves are not aware of it. For their higher nature being in fact more developed than that of other men, it influences other natures at night or in hours of the day when all is favorable. The fact that these obscured adepts are not aware now of what they really are, only has to do with their memory of the past; it does not follow, because a man cannot remember his initiations, that he has had none. But there are some cases in which we can judge with a degree of certainty that such adepts were incarnated and what they were named. Take Thomas Vaughan, Raymond Lully, Sir Thomas More, Jacob Boehme, Paracelsus, and others like them, including also some of the Roman Catholic saints. These souls were as witnesses to the truth, leaving through the centuries, in their own nations, evidences for those who followed, and suggestions

1 For Nirmanakayas see "The Voice of the Silence" and its glossary.


for keeping spirituality bright―seed-thoughts, as it were, ready for the new mental soil. And as well as these historical characters, there are countless numbers of men and women now living who have passed through certain initiations during their past lives upon earth, and who produce effects in many directions quite unknown to themselves now. They are, in fact, old friends of "the sacred tribe of heroes," and can therefore be more easily used for the spreading of influences and the carrying out of effects necessary for the preservation of spirituality in this age of darkness. We find in our present experience a parallel to this forgetting of previous initiations. There is hardly one of us who has not passed through circumstances in early life, all of which we have forgotten, but which ever since sensibly affect our thoughts and life. Hence the only point about which any question can be raised is that of reincarnation. If we believe in that doctrine, there is no great difficulty in admitting that many of us may have been initiated to some extent and forgotten it for the time. In connection with this we find in the 2d volume of the Secret Doctrine, at page 302, some suggestive words. The author says:

Now that which the students of Occultism ought to know is that the "third eye" is indissolubly connected with Karma.

. . . In the case of the Atlanteans, it was precisely the Spiritual being which sinned, the Spirit element being still the "Master" principle in man, in those days. Thus it is in those days that the heaviest Karma of the Fifth Race was generated by our Monads. . . .

Hence the assertion that many of us are now working off the effects of the evil Karmic causes produced by us in Atlantean bodies.

In another place she puts the date of the last Atlantean destruction as far back as 11,000 years ago, and describes them as a people of immense knowledge and power. If we allow about 1,000 years for our period in Devachan, we will have only passed through some eleven incarnations since then; and supposing that many more have been our lot―as is my opinion, then we have to place ourselves among those wonderful though wicked people at the height of their power. Granting that we were guilty of the sinful practices of the days in which


we then lived, and knowing the effect of Karma, it must follow that since then we have passed through many very disagreeable and painful lives, resembling by analogy dreadful situations in the years between youth and maturity. No wonder, then, if for the time we have forgotten outwardly what we then learned.

But all these historical personages to whom I have referred were living in a dark cycle that affected Europe only. These cycles do not cover the whole of the human race, fortunately for it, but run among the nations influenced for the allotted period, while other peoples remain untouched. Thus while Europe was in darkness, all India was full of men, kings and commoners alike, who possessed the true philosophy; for a different cycle was running there.

And such is the law as formulated by the best authorities. It is held that these cycles do not include the whole of mankind at any one time. In this paper I do not purpose to go into figures, for that requires a very careful examination of the deeds and works of numerous historical personages in universal history, so as to arrive by analysis at correct periods.

It is thought by many that the present is a time when preparation is being made by the most advanced of the "sacred tribe of heroes" for a new cycle in which the assistance of a greater number of progressed souls from other spheres may be gained for mankind. Indeed, in Isis Unveiled this is plainly stated.

Writing in 1878, Madame Blavatsky says in Vol. I of Isis:

Unless we mistake the signs, the day is approaching when the world will receive the proofs that only ancient religions were in harmony with nature, and ancient science embraced all that can be known. Secrets long-kept may be revealed; books long-forgotten and arts long-time-lost may be brought out to light again; papyri and parchments of inestimable importance will turn up in the hands of men who pretend to have unrolled them from mummies or stumbled upon them in buried crypts; tablets and pillars, whose sculptured revelations will stagger theologians and confound scientists, may yet be excavated and interpreted. Who knows the possibilities of the future? An era of disenchantment and rebuilding will soon


begin―nay, has already begun. The cycle has almost run its course; a new one is about to begin, and the future pages of history may contain full proof that―

If ancestry can be in aught believed,
Descending spirits have conversed with man
And told him secrets of the world unknown.

Now the way to get at the coming on of the period or close of a larger cycle without wandering in the mazes of figures, is to regard the history and present state of mankind as known.

Thus in the darker age of Europe we find India almost unknown and America wholly so. That was a period when cycles were operating apart from each other, for men were separated from and ignorant of each other. In these continents there were great and powerful nations ruling in both North and South America, but they were not in communication with Europe or India.

Now, however, China knows of and communicates with England and America, and even dark Africa has constant visitors from all civilized nations, and to some extent is affected by us. Doubtless in the greater number of towns in Africa the white man and his doings are more or less like fables, but we with larger knowledge know that those fables rest upon the fact of our explorations there.

Judging, then, from the appearances in the affairs of men, we can conclude that now some great cycle is either ending or beginning, and that a number of minor circles are approaching each other.

At the same time with these social or material cycles, there are corresponding ones on a higher plane. One is quite easy to trace. It is the influence of Eastern metaphysics upon the Western mind. This higher cycle had been revolving for many years among the Orientals before we came within its power. Our falling under it is due to a physical cycle as a means. That one which is represented in the progress of trade, of science, of means for transportation. In this way the philosophical


system of India and Tibet has begun to affect us, and no man can calculate its course.

Taking into account the spiritual cycles all so intimately connected with Karma and reincarnation, one would be compelled to conclude that this cycle will not be slow or weak. For, if we in Europe and America are the reincarnations of the ancients who formulated this philosophy, we must certainly be powerfully affected upon having it presented to our notice in this life. And as the very air is getting filled with theosophical ideas, and children are growing up every day, the conclusion is irresistible that as the new generation grows up it will be more familiar with theosophical terms and propositions than we were in our youths. For in every direction now, children are likely to hear Karma, Reincarnation, Buddhism, Theosophy, and all these ideas mentioned or discussed. In the course of twenty-five years, then, we shall find here in the United States a large and intelligent body of people believing once more in the very doctrines which they, perhaps ages ago, helped to define and promulgate.

Why not, then, call one of our present cycles the cycle of the Theosophical Society? It began in 1875, and, aided by other cycles then beginning to run, it has attained some force. Whether it will revolve for any greater length of time depends upon its earnest members. Members who enter it for the purpose of acquiring ideas merely for their own use will not assist. Mere numbers do not do the work, but sincere, earnest, active, unselfish members will keep this cycle always revolving. The wisdom of those who set it in motion becomes apparent when we begin to grasp somewhat the meaning of cyclic law. The Society could have remained a mere idea and might have been kept entirely away from outward expression in organization. Then, indeed, ideas similar to those prevalent in our Society might have been heard of. But how? Garbled, and presented only here and there, so that perhaps not for half a century later would they be concretely presented. A wise man, however, knows how to prepare for a tide of spiritual influence. But how could an every-day Russian or American know that


1875 was just the proper year in which to begin so as to be ready for the oncoming rush now fairly set in? To my mind the mere fact that we were organized with a definite platform in that year is strong evidence that the "heroic tribe of heroes" had a hand in our formation. Let us, then, not resist the cycle, nor, complaining of the task, sit down to rest. There is no time for rest. The weak, the despairing, and the doubting may have to wait, but men and women of action cannot stand still in the face of such an opportunity.

Arise, then, O Atlanteans, and repair the mischief done so long ago!

Roll on, O Wheel, roll on and conquer;
Roll on forevermore!

Path, December, 1889


THE word "evolution" is the best word from a theosophical standpoint to use in treating of the genesis of men and things, as the process which it designates is that which has been always stated in the ancient books from whose perusal the tenets of the wisdom religion can be gathered. In the Bhagavad Gita we find Krishna saying that "at the beginning of the day of Brahma all things come forth from the non-developed principle, and at the coming on of Brahma's night they are resolved into it again," and that this process goes on from age to age. This exactly states evolution as it is defined in our dictionaries, where it is said to be a process of coming forth or a development. The "days and nights of Brahma" are immense periods of time during which evolution proceeds, the manifestation of things being the "day" and their periodical resolution into the Absolute the "night."

If, then, everything is evolved, the word creation can only be properly applied to any combination of things already in existence, since the primordial matter or basis cannot be created.

The basis of the theosophical system is evolution, for in theosophy it is held that all things are already in esse, being brought forth or evolved from time to time in conformity to the inherent law of the Absolute. The very next question to be asked is, What is this inherent law of the Absolute? as nearly as can be stated. Although we do not and cannot know the Absolute, we have enough data from which to draw the conclusion that its inherent law is to periodically come forth


from subjectivity into objectivity and to return again to the former, and so on without any cessation. In the objective world we have a figure or illustration of this in the rising and setting of the sun, which of all natural objects best shows the influence of the law. It rises, as H. P. Blavatsky says, from the (to us) subjective, and at night returns to the subjective again, remaining in the objective world during the day. If we substitute, as we must when attempting to draw correspondences between the worlds, the word "state" for locality or place, and instead of the sun we call that object "the Absolute," we have a perfect figure, for then we will have the Absolute rising above the horizon of consciousness from the subjective state, and its setting again for that consciousness when the time of night arrives that is, the night of Brahma. This law of periodicity is the same as that of the cycles, which can be seen governing in every department of nature.

But let us assume a point of departure so as to get a rapid survey of evolution theosophically considered. And let it be at the time when this period of manifestation began. What was projected into the objective world at that time must have been life itself, which under the action of the law of differentiation split itself up into a vast number of lives, which we may call individual, the quantity of which it is not possible for us of finite mind to count. In the Hindu system these are called Jivas and Jivatman. Within these lives there is contained the entire plan to be pursued during the whole period of manifestation, since each life is a small copy of the great All from which it came. Here a difficulty arises for studious minds, calling for some attention, for they may ask "What then do you do with that which we call 'matter', and by and through which the lives manifest themselves?"

The reply is that the so-called matter is an illusion and is not real matter, but that the latter―sometime known in Europe as primordial matter―cannot be seen by us. The real matter is itself only another form of the life first thrown out, but in a less perfect state of differentiation, and it is on a screen of this real matter that its inner energies project pictures which we call matter, mistaking them for the real. It


may then be further asked, "Have we not been led to suppose that that which we supposed was matter but which you now say is an illusion is something absolutely necessary to the soul for acquiring experience of nature?" To this I reply that such is not the case, but that the matter needed for the soul to acquire experience through is the real unseen matter. It is that matter of which psychic bodies are composed, and those other "material" things all the way up to spirit. It is to this that the Bhagavad Gita refers where it says that spirit (purusha) and matter (prakriti) are coeternal and not divisible from each other. That which we and science are accustomed to designate matter is nothing more than our limited and partial cognition of the phenomena of the real or primordial matter. This position is not overturned by pointing to the fact that all men in general have the same cognitions of the same objects, that square objects are always square and that shadows fall in the same line for all normal people, for even in our own experience we see that there is such a thing as a collective change of cognition, and that thus it is quite possible that all normal people are merely on the single plane of consciousness where they are not yet able to cognize anything else. In the case of hypnotizing everything appears to the subject to be different at the will of the operator, which would not be possible if objects had any inherent actuality of their own apart from our consciousness.

In order to justify a discussion of the Theosophical system of evolution, it is necessary to see if there be any radical difference between it and that which is accepted in the world, either in scientific circles or among Theologians. That there is such a distinction can be seen at once, and we will take first that between it and Theology. Here, of course, this is in respect to the genesis of the inner man more especially, although Theology makes some claim to know about race descent. The Church either says that the soul of each man is a special creation in each case or remains silent on the subject, leaving us, as it was once so much the fashion to say, "In the hands of a merciful Providence," who after all says nothing on the matter. But when the question of the race is raised, then the


priest points to the Bible, saying that we all come from one pair, Adam and Eve. On this point Theology is more sure than science, as the latter has no data yet and does not really know whether we owe our origin to one pair, male and female, or to many. Theosophy, on the other hand, differs from the Church, asserting that Paramatma alone is self-existing, single, eternal, immutable, and common to all creatures, high and low alike; hence it never was and never will be created; that the soul of man evolves, is consciousness itself, and is not specially created for each man born on the earth, but assumes through countless incarnations different bodies at different times. Underlying this must be the proposition that, for each Manvantara or period of manifestation, there is a definite number of souls or egos who project themselves into the current of evolution which is to prevail for that period or manvantara. Of course this subject is limitless, and the consideration of the vast number of systems and worlds where the same process is going on with a definite number of egos in each, staggers the minds of most of those who take the subject up. And of course I do not mean to be understood as saying that there is a definite number of egos in the whole collection of systems in which we may imagine evolution as proceeding, for there could be no such definiteness considered in the mass, as that would be the same as taking the measure of the Absolute. But in viewing any part of the manifestation of the Absolute, it is allowable for us to say that there are to be found such a definite number of egos in that particular system under consideration; this is one of the necessities of our finite consciousness. Following out the line of our own argument we reach the conclusion that, included within the great wave of evolution which relates to the system of which this earth is a part, there are just so many egos either fully developed or in a latent state. These have gone round and round the wheel of rebirth, and will continue to do so until the wave shall meet and be transformed into another. Therefore there could be no such thing as a special creation of souls for the different human beings born on this earth, and for the additional reason that, if there were, then spirit would be made subservi-


ent to illusion, to mere human bodies. So that in respect to theology we deny the propositions, first, that there is any special creation of souls, second, that there is, or was, or could be by any possibility any creation of this world or of any other, and third, that the human race descended from one pair.

In taking up the difference existing between our theory and that of science we find the task easy. Upon the question of progress, and how progress or civilization may be attained by man, and whether any progress could be possible if the theories of science be true, our position is that there could be no progress if the law of evolution as taught in the schools is true, even in a material sense. In this particular we are diametrically opposed to science. Its assumption is that the present race on the earth may be supposed to belong to a common stock which in its infancy was rude and barbarous, knowing little more than the animal, living like the animal, and learning all it now knows simply by experience gained in its contest with nature through its development. Hence they give us the paleolithic age, the neolithic age, and so on. In this scheme we find no explanation of how man comes to have innate ideas. Some, however, seeing the necessity for an explanation of this phenomenon, attempt it in various ways; and it is a phenomenon of the greatest importance. It is explained by theosophy in a way peculiar to itself, and of which more will be said as we go on.

Path, August, 1890W. Q. J.


A NUMBER of correspondents have propounded questions growing out of a recent article on "Evolution" and relating to the great progress round the chain of globes of which this earth is one. One of these is:

If we are transferred to the next planet of our chain, shall we be born there like a child on this one, or have we to evolve through minerals, plants, etc.?

No details, such as are requested in this enquiry, have been given out by the Adepts, all that has been said being general in its nature wherever the other planets of our chain were spoken of. In the Secret Doctrine H. P. Blavatsky distinctly says the teaching has to do with this earth particularly, and that when other planets are mentioned there are only hints, except in regard to the grand fact that the human life-wave passes from this to the next globe, and so on through the chain. The only other writer on this who quotes authority is Mr. Sinnett in Esoteric Buddhism, and in that he copies the letters sent him by H. P. B.’s Masters. He has information of detail regarding only this earth. Consequently, to hazard an answer to the question would be guessing. No one knows what exact function the other planets in the chain perform; all we know is that the human life-wave does pass into the next planet when the cycle is completed for this one. Whether we shall be born there as human children or into other forms we do not know. And doubtless it is not necessary we should be informed, inasmuch as ages must pass before we shall be released from this world. By that time we should have forgotten the facts.

These considerations apply to another question. Whether


only a part, or the whole, of the human family is at the same time on one globe. Of this we cannot speak with authority. But in the Secret Doctrine the author says the Adepts teach that seven races appear in the beginning on seven different portions of the earth. This would appear to indicate that the egos within those race-forms come from another planet in the chain. And as it is distinctly taught that an obscuration overtakes a globe when the entire race deserts it for another, it is very safe to assume the teaching to be that deserted planets go into obscuration if the races that left them have not completed all their rounds. And as the matter of obscuration as compared with pralayaor total destruction―is also raised, we may keep in mind at this point that a total pralaya only comes when the entire seven rounds of the seven races around the seven globes is completed. The obscuration is similar to the sleep of man’s body, making a reawakening possible; while total pralaya is similar to the actual death of the body of a man, followed by his ego’s going into the state of Devachan. This agrees with the views given by H.P.B., as from the Masters, that the Nirvana for the great human family is really that long period which intervenes between the total death of a planetary chain and the new birth of a new planetary chain, upon which a higher form of evolution will be started at the hour of that new birth.

When the article in July PATH said "we must go round the whole chain of seven planets three times more before as a race we are perfected," the words as a race were intended to, as they do, point out that sub-races were not being dealt with. Sub-races grow on the planet, and not by going to other ones. Hence there is no obscuration or pralaya after a sub-race. As these, in their process of formation, proceed with their development upon this globe―or any other they may be on, cataclysms for that globe take place from time to time, involving either the entire mass or only a portion of it. These cataclysms are not obscurations of the globe. For the latter can only come on when the egos of the race have abandoned the globe for the purpose of continuing work on another of the same chain. And carrying on the correspondence for


the purpose of illustration, those cataclysms are similar to the sicknesses and accidents which come to a man during a single lifetime. When all the necessary sub-races have been evolved, and the root, trunk, branch, twig, leaf, blossom, and fruit seven in all— are completed, then the race, having been thus perfected as such, passes on to the next globe in the chain. This is what is involved in the sentence quoted from the July PATH.

Confusion may be avoided by remembering that the race of which we form a part includes many sub-races, and that the term "sub-races" does not mean that a new sub-race comes on only when a preceding one has disappeared. The true Hindus and many European races are in our race, so that we and they are all sub-races. In America a new sub-race is being formed as preparation for many others, all preparing the ground for the final great race. It is only when sub-races have fully accomplished their task that they leave this earth altogether. And in saying they leave or disappear, what is meant is that the race as a physical expression goes out, not that the egos in the bodies leave this world and go to another one.

As all the egos engaged in this evolution are not in equal stages of progress, but are very varied in their development, some forward and others backward, the whole process is a matter of education for the egos. They go backward and forward in the various sub-races which are on the earth at the same time just as the development of the egos requires, in the same way as one incarnates in family after family in his own race. So that in one life one may be in an advanced sub-race in accordance with predominating qualities, but in that incarnation may bring up certain defects or generate certain causes requiring him to pass over next life to some other less progressed sub-race for the purpose of extirpating the defects or working off the causes.

In this way accurate adjustment, perfect development, regularity and roundness are all amply provided for. Classes of egos from time to time move up en masse, and at last no ego is left requiring the development afforded by some sub-races,


and the latter then, as physical forms, begin to die away, being inhabited only by very low orders of intelligence which need no description. But as these are much lower in power than even the mere brain-matter of the forms they come into, the result is that they drag the physical race down, they are unable to give the natural brain capacity its normal expression, and that race will show all the signs of human decrepitude until its remaining members, gradually becoming curiosities in Ethnology, are at last engulfed altogether by death. This is one of the great facts in racial history not yet understood by the world. A race is both physical and spiritual. The physical body and brain require an informing intelligence of a degree of power sufficient to keep up the exact amount of tension demanded by that sort of body, and if this is not furnished the consequence will be that equilibrium is destroyed, followed in time by sterility among the females of the race, leading inevitably to extinction.

It is an obscure point, but of the highest importance. Not improbably many will reject it, but the fact of racial extinction is known, as in the case of Hottentots and others, and ordinary theories fail to show why a perfect blight falls upon some masses of people.

Returning to the great progress of the seven races, it is to be noted that when the complete seven have all finished the seven rounds the entire family of egos evolving on the seven globes commences to leave the whole chain forever, and the various globes composing it begin to die altogether. This, however, does not take place at the same time for the whole seven. They die one by one because the "human life wave" never arrives at or leaves any globe in a complete mass. Such coming and going is similar to the migration of birds from zone to zone, they being known to go in detachments until all have migrated. The advance portion of the life-wave will arrive at globe seven on its last journey, the remainder following; and thus the whole wave will be at last withdrawn from globe after globe beginning with number one or A until the entire stream has passed out from the seventh, it being, as it were, the door of departure. It is evident, then, that globe


A, being the one to be first completely abandoned, has time to throw its energies off into space for the purpose of beginning the formation of a new first-plane globe to be ready in that new chain for the incoming rush of pilgrim souls as soon as the rest between chains is over.

This is exactly what happened for the predecessors of this chain of globes, and, as our earth is a fourth-round or fourth-plane globe, it was formed in space by the energies of the old moon which is a fourth-plane globe of a former chain. For this reason the Adepts call the Moon our parent, meaning the parent of our globe. And the Moon may illustrate the question about obscuration and pralaya, as she is not in obscuration but is in her final pralaya and is disintegrating as quickly as nature will permit, this earth meanwhile absorbing her particles slowly from day to day while the great cycle of our evolution unerringly goes on. It has also been stated in letters from the Adepts that the well-known planet Mars is now in obscuration. This means that the body of the planet is, as it were, sleeping in space, as it rolls about the sun and has no inhabitants on it such as we. The life-wave belonging to it has passed on to the next or some other globe of its own chain, but since that wave has to return, the body of the planet does not go into pralaya, but waits for the new day. Its life as a sleeping globe is maintained by a certain subtle principle which is not publicly referred to by those who know of it, and which will not permit it to die until the whole chain of globes of which it is one has been traversed seven times, or the equivalent of seven, by the wave of life belonging to it.

Path, November, 1892


A FUNDAMENTAL axiom in Theosophy is that no one should accept as unquestionably true any statement of fact, principle, or theory which he has not tested for himself. This does not exclude a reasonable reliance upon testimony; but only that blind credulity which sometimes passes for faith. As we understand the rule, it is that we should at all times keep a clear and distinct boundary between what we know, and what we only accept provisionally on the testimony of those who have had larger experience until we reach a point of view from which we can see its truth. We owe it to ourselves to enlarge the sphere of clear knowledge and to push back as far as possible the boundary of opinion and hypothesis.

The realm of knowledge has various departments. Our physical senses furnish us one class of knowledge; our intellectual powers investigate another field on mathematical lines; and yet another faculty enables us to apprehend ethical teachings and to trace them to their true basis in Karma. That we have other faculties, now largely latent, which when developed will enable us to enter other fields of observation and investigation, is beginning to be seen and appreciated. Among the subjects which man may thus in the future examine for himself is a large block of truth concerning evolution, the out-breathing of the Great Breath, the birth and development of a chain of globes, and of human life thereon, some part of which has been imparted to us by those who claim to know, and which is chiefly useful, perhaps, for the light which it throws on our surroundings, our destiny, and our duty.


The grander sweeps of this block of truth are given to us in the barest outline, and not until our present physical earth is reached do we find anything like detailed information. From the hints given out, however, and reasoning according to the doctrine of correspondences, "as above, so below," we may plausibly infer many things in regard to other globes and other systems; but such flights can hardly be taken with much profit or advantage until we become thoroughly familiar with the things that are revealed in regard to our immediate surroundings.

In reading what has been written about the evolution of our planetary chain, it becomes apparent that some writers either did not have clear views on the subject, or that confusion and even contradiction have resulted from difficulty in finding words adapted to its expression and in using the words chosen in a strictly consistent manner. The article entitled "Evolution" found on page 117 of THE PATH for July, 1892, is, it seems to me, open to this objection; and I ask leave of the Editor to contribute briefly to the work of making the subject more clear.

The planetary chain consists of seven companion globes, which for convenience of reference are named from the first seven letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. We occupy globe D, the fourth in the chain. The course of evolution begins on globe A, and proceeds by regular stages through globes B, C, D, E, etc. In the beginning, globe A was first evolved, and life received a certain degree of development upon it; then globe B came into existence, and the life-wave removed from globe A to B, where it went forward another stage; then globe C was evolved and received the life wave for a still further stage in its progress; and so on, until at the end of the first round globe G was evolved and furnished the field for the highest development attainable in that round.

The first round―the first tour of the life-wave through the seven globes from A to G―having been completed, the monads―the life wave―passed again to globe A, and commenced the second round, or the second tour through the


chain. Without following out details, it is enough to say that three such rounds have been completed, and the fourth round has commenced its sweep and is still in progress; and that we now occupy globe D in this fourth round. Three times the life-wave has passed from globe A to globe G; and has now reached globe D in its fourth tour through the chain.

Now, leaving entirely out of sight for the present what has happened during the former three rounds, and on globes A, B, and C in this fourth round, let us consider what has happened on globe D since the life-wave reached it this fourth time; prefacing, however, the general statement that this globe will be exhausted and the life-wave be ready to pass from it to Globe E when seven root-races shall have finished their course here. Each root-race is divided into seven sub-races; and each sub-race into seven family-races; and so on; these divisions and subdivisions following each the other, and not coexisting, except as an earlier race or division of a race may survive its time and overlap a subsequent race or division. Since the life-wave reached globe D in this fourth round, four root-races have run their course upon it, and the fifth root-race has reached its fifth subdivision or sub-race, of which we are part. This fifth sub-race is said to be preparing in America for transition or transformation into the sixth sub-race: it is not entirely clear whether we in the United States today belong to the seventh family-race of the fifth sub-race, or to the first family race of the sixth sub-race. It seems certain that we are near the transition point, unless there must be an intervening pralayic period.

The sixth and seventh sub-races of the fifth root-race must run their course, and these must be followed by the sixth and seventh root-races with their various subdivisions, before the life-wave passes from our present globe D and begins its further evolution on globe E. From analogy we may infer that seven great races, with their sub-races, etc., will be necessary to complete the work of that globe; and the same for globes F and G, before the fourth round shall be concluded and the life-wave be ready to pass to globe A for the beginning of the fifth round.


Thus the planetary chain consists of seven globes; the life-wave makes during the existence of the chain seven complete tours of the chain from globe A to globe G, these tours being called rounds; the life-wave remains on each globe after reaching it in each round, until it completes seven root races, divided into forty-nine sub-races and into three hundred and forty-three family-races.

It should be remembered that the flow of the life-wave is not continuous: it has its ebb as well as its flood. There is a period of rest or pralaya after the close of each round before another is commenced: a pralaya after each globe in the round; similarly each race, sub-race, etc., is preceded and followed by its pralayic rest. The purpose of this paper is not to develop the entire scheme in all its completeness, even if that were possible; but to bring out as sharply as may be the general outlines, and especially to note the distinction between rounds and races, the seven rounds being seven circuits of the entire chain, while the seven root-races are seven life-waves (or seven repetitions of the same wave) which consecutively flow and ebb on each globe before leaving it. There are seven root-races on each globe; forty-nine root-races in each round; three hundred and forty-three root-races in the seven rounds which complete the life of the planetary chain.

In studying this subject, it must be borne in mind that, while numerous passages in The Secret Doctrine refer to universal cosmogony and the evolution of the solar system and of our planetary chain, still the bulk of that work is devoted to the evolution of humanity on globe D in the fourth round only. It must also be remembered that the groups of monads discussed in "Theosophical Gleanings" in Vol. VI of Lucifer are not to be taken as identical with the seven root-races through which the monadic host passes on each globe in each round.

The foregoing outline of the course of evolution through the SEVEN ETERNITIES of a maha-manvantara is mechanical and clumsy; it is only a skeleton, which must be clothed upon with muscles and sinews by reading between the lines before


its true relations and proportions can be understood. The following quotations from The Secret Doctrine will perhaps throw a ray of light upon the connection of the globes of the chain:

It only stands to reason that the globes which overshadow our earth must be on different and superior planes. In short, as globes, they are in COADUNITION but not IN CONSUBSTANTIALITY WITH OUR EARTH. (The capitals are in the text.) Vol. I, p. 166.

When "other worlds" are mentioned . . . the Occultist does not locate these spheres either outside or inside our Earth . . . for their location is nowhere in the space known to and conceived by the profane. They are, as it were, blended with our world — interpenetrating it and interpenetrated by it. Vol. I, p. 605.

In a foot note to page 265 of Walker’s work on Reincarnation, (Lovell’s edition), the opinion is expressed that the figures (seven planets, seven rounds, seven races, etc.), are only symbols; even so: if they are symbols, they must no less be clearly apprehended before the truths symbolized can be grasped.

Path, December, 1892ALPHA


ALTHOUGH H.P.B. gave out to several of those who met her during the period from 1875 to 1878 the very same teachings in respect to the nature of man and of the "worlds" he evolves in as were afterwards publicly expounded in Esoteric Buddhism by Mr. Sinnett upon letters received by him through her from her Teachers, the credit of thus publishing those teachings, if such credit is desired, must be granted to that author. But at the time he began his publications, we who had known the doctrines so many years before wrote to H.P.B. complaining that the method adopted would lead to confusion on the one hand and to a materializing of the doctrines on the other, while, of course, no objection was made in general to the divulgement of what at a prior date had been given us in confidence, for he could not and would not have given the teachings to the public at all unless he had been permitted to do so. And after all these years the confusion to which our letters adverted has arisen among Theosophists, while there has been an apparent lack of attempt to clear it away. In respect to the "Earth Chain of Globes," the materializing of the doctrine and the confusion in the minds of students have been greater than in regard to any other of the teachings. This cloudiness I will now attempt to dissipate, if possible, with the help of some of H.P.B.’s own words in her book, the time having arrived and permission being granted, and access being also had to certain plain statements thereupon from the original sources.

In Esoteric Buddhism 6th ed., p. 77, we find in reference to the "Chain of Globes":


Separated as these are in regard to the grossly mechanical matter of which they consist, they are closely and intimately bound together by subtle currents and forces It is along these subtle currents that the life elements pass from world to world The most ethereal of the whole series As it passes from world Z back again to world A.

Then follows, for illustrative purposes, the figure of a series of tubs to represent the various globes of the whole series, one filling up from the overflow out of the preceding tub. Further, that the life wave reaches Globe A or B, and so on.

All this, in the absence of other explanations, and naturally consequent upon modern habits of thought, has fixed the idea in minds of many that the seven globes through which the evolution of man is carried on are in fact separated from each other; that they have between each other spaces along which currents flow to and from; and although the illustration of the series of tubs might be very well used for even the most metaphysical of problems, it had the effect of additionally deepening the idea of the actual separation from each other of the seven "globes." It has been thought that they were as much apart from each as any visible planet, although connected by "subtle currents and forces."

But the fact is otherwise. The seven globes of earth's chain are not separated at all, and are interblended and mixed with each other. To make it clearer, if we were to develop inner sight so as to perceive on the plane of the next globe, the fifth, it would not appear as a definite ball in the sky or space. Whether it be smaller or larger than this earth―a fact not yet cleared up―it would be seen to possess the earth as the earth holds it.

It may be asked, Why was this not told in the beginning? Because it was useless to tell, no one being at hand to understand it; and also because if insisted on―and it was not of enough importance to require insistence―the consequence might have been that even Mr. Sinnett would not have published his invaluable and extremely useful book. He confessed in that work that the doctrines propounded were new to him, and seemingly opposed to modern ideas of nature. In great part this was true, though there were very many who


did not find them new but who were not sufficient in number to risk then an insistence on a point that might too far violate the materialistic conceptions prevalent. Since then, however, times have altered, and a large and daily increasing number of minds are ready for the destruction of the idea contained in these words from the above quotation: "Separated as these are in regard to the grossly mechanical matter of which they are composed." Strike out this statement, and the rest of the explanation can be construed to agree with the facts as laid down by those who inspired the book.

The globes of the earth-chain are not "separated in regard to the grossly mechanical particles," but their particles are interblended. When we pass on to the plane of life which Globe 5 or E represents, it will be and appear to our then senses as gross, while the particles of this one will not be visible although still interblended with the other. It was to this very sentence that we objected in 1875 [1885?], because it contains the statement of a fallacy growing out of materialistic conception.

On this very subject the teachers of H.P.B. wrote, Secret Doctrine, V. I, p.166:

Were psychic and spiritual teachings more fully understood, it would become next to impossible to even imagine such an incongruity. . . . In short, as Globes, they are in COADUNITION but not in CONSUBSTANTIALITY WITH OUR EARTH, and thus pertain to quite another state of consciousness.

This should be clear enough, and, as if to draw special attention to it, the very words which give the correct doctrine about our "fellow globes" were printed in capital letters.

"Consubstantiality" means the state of being the same substance. This is negatived in respect to the globes; but it is asserted that they, being of different substances, are united in one mass, for such is the meaning of "co-adunition." If this be the case, as must be on the original authority, it then follows that the "seven globes of earth's chain, while differing from each other as to what is commonly called substance, are united together in a single mass. And when one is asked to shake off the dense veil of matter which beclouds the sight


so as to perceive another of the globes, it is by no means meant that the companion globe, or globes as the case may be, would be seen rolling in space all by itself":―and this is from another explanatory letter from the first authority. In the paragraph from Secret Doctrine attention is called to the fact that just because the seven globes are in coadunition but not in consubstantiality with each other they pertain to a state of consciousness quite other than that we are compelled to be in now.

As H.P.B. used a diagram in which the globes are set down as separated, it only requires to be remembered that the system could not, on a flat surface by mere lines, be illustrated in any other way and be at all clear. Besides, all the diagrams and illustrations must be construed with the quotation on p. 166 in view, as well as the numerous pages of similar explanations.

Every student should make inquiry of himself to see what his ideas are on this subject, and revise them if they are found not to be in accord with what was so clearly explained in the words above quoted. For this lies at the root of many other difficulties. Materialistic conceptions on this will lead to materializing, localizing, and separating of states such as Devachan, and to perhaps dogmas about places that do not exist, when states of consciousness should be dwelt upon. For, as was written in a letter quoted by H.P.B.:

Unless less trouble is taken to reconcile the irreconcilable―that is to say, the metaphysical and spiritual sciences with physical or natural philosophy, "natural" being a synonym to them [men of science] of that matter which falls under the perception of their corporeal senses―no progress can be really achieved.

And on page 169 of Vol. I of Secret Doctrine is a sentence not printed as a quotation, but which is really one from one of the same teacher's letters, reading:

To be fully realized [the evolution of the monads on the globes] both this process and that of the birth of the globes must be examined far more from their metaphysical aspect than from what one might call a statistical standpoint. . . .

Although the Lodge has declared through the mouth of


H.P.B. that the complete truth on these matters is the heritage of future generations, yet we who are working in the movement now, believing in reincarnation and knowing the force of Karmic tendencies, must not forget that we are destined to return in future years once more to the same work. We should therefore study the pure spiritual, psychic, and metaphysical aspects of the doctrines, leaving disputes with the changing science of the day to those who are amused by it. For those disputes are wholly unimportant, since they will all pass away; but the spirit of truth will not pass, nor shall we who endeavor to find her and to understand what she says to us.

William Q. Judge


IN February PATH the subject of the coadunition but non-consubstantiality of the seven globes of the Earth-chain was opened up slightly and discussed in view of certain expressions from the Adepts themselves on the same matter. Since then questions and doubts have arisen, as it seems that―as was suspected―the fundamental principles underlying this doctrine have not been clearly defined in the minds of all. And, indeed, before such clear definition is arrived at most if not all of the naturalistic and materialistic doctrines and modes of thought of the day will have to be abandoned. The true theory of the companion globes of our earth is one which cannot be fully comprehended if we are influenced, as many are, by the education which for centuries has been imposed upon us. When the adepts say that these doctrines must be examined from a metaphysical standpoint, the nineteenth century person thinks that therefore it must be so vague and unreal as not to constitute an inclusion of facts, since "facts" are hard and visible things, so to say.

The first question, coming from one who grasps to a great extent the theory broached in the paragraph from the Master's pen quoted in Secret Doctrine, is whether we will be able to see but one globe at a time as we change our centre of con-


sciousness? That is to say, seeing that we now can perceive the earth with the eye and none of the other companions, does it follow from this that, when the race ceases to function on the earth and has taken up evolution on the next globe in order, we shall see then but that globe and none of the others of the chain among which will then be included this earth? It by no means follows that we then shall be able to see but one, but to what extent our then vision will be stretched or how many other globes we shall be able to see has not been given out publicly by the Masters, and it is held that alone in the keeping of the Lodge is the knowledge on this detail of the doctrine. We are left therefore to our own deductions, to be drawn from known facts. No very substantial benefit could be derived from exact knowledge about it, as it relates to matters and states of life removed from us inconceivably far both as to time and consciousness. Nor would a full explanation be comprehended. One of the teachers has written:

You do not seem to realize the tremendous difficulties in the way of imparting even the rudiments of our science to those who have been trained in the familiar methods of (modern science). You do not see that the more you have of the one the less capable you are to instinctively comprehend the other, for a man can only think in his worn grooves, and unless he has the courage to fill up these and make new ones for himself [italics are mine] he must perforce travel on the old lines. . . . Such is, unfortunately, the inherited and self-acquired grossness of the Western mind, and so greatly have the very phrases expressive of modern thought been developed in the line of practical Materialism, that it is now next to impossible either for them to comprehend or for us to express in their own languages anything of that delicate, seemingly ideal, machinery of the occult cosmos. To some little extent that faculty can be acquired by the Europeans through study and meditation, but―that's all. And here is the bar which has hitherto prevented a conviction of the Theosophical truths from gaining currency among Western nations―caused Theosophical study to be cast aside as useless and fantastic.

As implied in the foregoing, the reason for not telling all about it is that it would not be comprehended, and not that the Lodge desires to keep it back from the world. The same difficulty has often been encountered by ordinary clairvoyants who have tried to give an account of the little they know of


the "occult cosmos" to hearers whose modes of thought were purely materialistic or tainted by that kind of education. And I have met estimable theosophists who said to me that if they really were convinced that I believed certain things which I hinted to them they would be forced in sadness to conclude I was a most superstitious person―meaning of course that their ignorance and inability would constitute my superstition.

But as we now reside in a physical body perfectly visible to us, and as the astral body is sometimes seen by certain persons, it follows most surely that some persons can now see another body or form of matter while functioning in their little earth. The fact that all do not see the astral body only proves that as yet the seeing of it is not normal for the whole human race. And looking at the other side of the matter, we know that sometimes persons escaped temporarily from the physical body and functioning wholly in the astral have been able to see the physical one as it slept in trance. From this we may conclude that when the race has gone to some other centre of consciousness called a globe, it may possibly be able to see another of the companions in the sky. This is made more probable from the fact that the Earth is the lowest or at the turning of the circle, and for that reason it is on its own plane and not in company as to plane with any other one. The others might be two at a time on the one plane and then visible to each other.

The next point raised is that if the article of February is accepted, then it results that we consider the companion globes to be only "phases of the Earth." The letter from the Master above quoted is pertinent here, for this objection arises solely and wholly from a materialistic education leading the objector to give the first place of importance to the earth, just as if it were not possible to say that earth is a phase of the other globes.

The globes are not in any sense phases of each other, but are "phases of consciousness." The consciousness alters and we function in another state of matter, in the same place, but not able to see the state of matter we have left. And as now the whole race is bound up by its total form and quality of


consciousness, the units of it are compelled to remain in the general state of consciousness until the race progress permits an advance or change to another. In the evolution of the race it develops new senses and instruments for perception, but these proceed along with the changing centre of consciousness, and are not the causes for the latter but are effects due to the operation and force of that inner power of perceiving which at last compels nature to furnish the necessary instrument. When the new instruments are all perfected, then the whole race moves on to another plane altogether.

All this supports and enforces the doctrine of universal brotherhood upon which the Adepts have insisted. For the changing of consciousness as to centre is not for the benefit of the individual, but is permissible and possible when the whole mass of matter of the globe whereon the beings are evolving has been perfected by the efforts and work of the most advanced of the whole number, and that advanced class is man. If it were otherwise, then we should see millions upon millions of selfish souls deserting the planet as soon as they had acquired the necessary new senses, leaving their fellows and the various kingdoms of nature to shift for themselves. But the law and the Lodge will not permit this, but insist that we shall remain until the lower masses of atoms have been far enough educated to be able to go on in a manner not productive of confusion. Here again we trench upon the materialism of the age, which will roar with laughter at the idea of its being possible to educate the atoms.

The doctrine of the interpenetration of the planes of matter lies at the root of clairvoyance, clairaudience, and all such phenomena. Clairvoyance would be an impossibility were it not the fact that what for the ordinary sense is solid and an obstacle to sight is in reality for the other set of senses non-existent, free from solidity, and no obstacle. Otherwise clear seeing is impossible, and the learned doctors are right who say we are all deluded and never did any one see through a solid wall. For while the faculty of imagination is necessary for the training of the power to see through a solid wall, we could not so perceive merely by imagination, since objects


must have a medium through which they are to be seen. This again strikes against materialistic conceptions, for the "objective" usually means that which can be seen and felt. But in the machinery of the "occult cosmos" the objective is constantly changing to the subjective and vice versa, as the centre of consciousness changes. In the trance or clairvoyant state the subjective of the waking man has become the objective. So also in dreams. There, clothed with another body of finer texture, the perceiver finds all the experiences objective as to their circumstances and subjective as to the feelings they produce on the perceiver who registers the sensations. And in precisely similar manner will the race see, feel, and know when it has changed all and begins to function on another globe.

Path, February and March. 1893William Brehon



The Editor has handed me a communication from a reader upon this subject which I insert here, as it on the one hand shows a very common defect of students―inaccuracy of reading, thought, and reference, and on the other will serve as a question which arises in other minds. It reads:

Please state in reference to the Earth Chain of Globes whether it is meant to be conveyed on page 159 of S. D. Vol. I that the "seven globes from the 1st to the 7th proceed in seven Rounds," that each globe revolves seven times around the World Chain with its own particular development [say the Mineral Kingdom], before the next in order [say the Vegetable Kingdom] appears on Globe A? Or does the Mineral Kingdom only go once around the World Chain from I to 7? In Esoteric Buddhism, page 91, it is stated that the several kingdoms pass "several times around the whole circle as minerals, and then again several times as vegetables," but there is no distinct statement of this in S.D.―Yours, IGNOTUS.

Inaccuracies like those in the foregoing are not uncommon. They are constant and all-pervading. It is probably the fault of modern education, accentuated by the reading of a vast amount of superficial literature such as is poured out day by day. Any close observer can detect the want of attention displayed in metaphysical studies in contrast with the particular care given to matters of business and practical affairs of life. All those who are studying Theosophy ought to make themselves aware of this national defect, and therefore give the strictest attention to what they read upon metaphysics and devote less attention to the amount of such reading than to thinking upon what is read.

In the first place, the Secret Doctrine does not say on the


page quoted, nor anywhere else, what "Ignotus" writes. Instead of reading as quoted, the passage is:

I. Everything in the metaphysical as in the physical Universe is septenary. [p. 158] . . . The evolution of life proceeds on these seven globes or bodies from the first to the seventh in Seven Rounds or Seven Cycles [p. 159].

I insert in italics the omitted words, the word proceeds having been put out of its place by "Ignotus." The error makes a completely new scheme, one unphilosophical and certainly not given out by the Masters. But though some may wonder why I notice such a false assumption, it is right to take it up because it must have arisen through carelessness, yet of such a sort as might perpetuate an important error. It follows from the restoration of the passage that the Globes do not "revolve around the world chain." The supposition of the correspondent is not peculiar among the many hurried ones made by superficial readers. He first assumed that the various globes of the Earth-Chain revolved, in some way which he did not stop to formulate, in seven rounds―I presume in some imaginary orbit of their own―in what he called the "world chain," and then he went on adapting the rest of the evolutionary theory to this primary assumption. By reading the Secret Doctrine and the former articles on this subject in the PATH, the point in question will be made clear. Evolution of the monad, which produces and underlies all other evolutions, proceeds on the seven planetary bodies of any chain of evolution. These seven places or spheres for such evolution represent different states of consciousness, and hence, as written in the Secret Doctrine and attempted to be shown in these articles, they may and do interpenetrate each other with beings on each. Therefore all such words as "round," "around," "chain," and the like must be examined metaphysically and not be allowed to give the mind a false notion such as is sure to arise if they are construed in the material way and from their materialistic derivation. "To go around" the seven globes does not mean that one passes necessarily from one place to another, but indicates a change from one condition to another,


just as we might say that a man "went the whole round of sensations."

As to the other questions raised, Esoteric Buddhism is right in saying that the monads pass several times around the globes as minerals and vegetables, but wisely does not make the number and order very definite. In the Secret Doctrine one of the Masters writes that at the second round the order of the appearance of the human kingdom alters, but the letter goes no farther on that point except to say, as is very definitely put in the Secret Doctrine on p. 159, para. 4;

The Life Cycle . . . arrived on our Earth at the commencement of the Fourth in the present series of life-cycles and races. Man is the first form that appears thereon, being preceded only by the mineral and vegetable kingdoms-even the latter having to develop and continue its further evolution through man.

This states quite distinctly (a) that after the second round the order alters, and (b) that in the fourth round, instead of animals appearing as the first moving forms for the monads to inhabit, the human form comes first, preceded by mineral and vegetable, and followed by the brute-animal.

This change always comes on at any fourth round, or else we never could have evolutionary perfection. Other monads come originally from other spheres of evolution. In a new one such as this the preliminary process and order of mineral, plant, animal, human must be followed. But having in two or three rounds perfected itself in the task, the monad brings out 'the human form at the turning point, so that man as the model, means, guide, and savior may be able to intelligently raise up not only humanity but as well every other kingdom below the human. This is all made very clear and positive by repeated statement and explanation in the Secret Doctrine, and it is a matter for surprise that so many Theosophists do not understand it.

For fear that the present may be misunderstood I will add. Although the order of appearance of the human form alters as stated, this does not mean that the whole number of natural kingdoms does not make the sevenfold pilgrimage. They all


make it, and in every round up to and including the seventh there are present in the chain of globes elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal, and human forms constituting those kingdoms, but of course the minerals and vegetables of the seventh round and race will be a very different sort from those of the present.

But as what a Master has said hereon is far better than my weak words, I will refer to that. Thus:

Nature consciously prefers that matter should be indestructible under organic rather than inorganic forms, and works slowly but incessantly towards the realization of this object―the evolution of conscious life out of inert material.

Path, April, 1893William Brehon


(1) How many years are there in Kali Yuga? (2) Will the sixth sub-race begin very soon, that is, will it be at the end of the cycle of the first five thousand years of Kali Yuga? (3) Cannot a person of the fifth race come near where the sixth race shall live?

  1. Kali Yuga is said by the Brahmins and the Secret Doctrine to be 432,000 years long. We will have to accept the calculation for the present.
  2. Many thousands of years will pass before the next race will be here, and you will have died several times over before that, and also it is probable you will be one of that race unless you go to some other planet. You have made the error of supposing that the end of the cycle in 1898 is the end of the race. It is not. It is but a minor cycle, though quite important in its way. Hence-
  3. As we, including you, will be members of the new race in all probability if we take advantage of our opportunities, there is no profit in the question or its answer, for the sixth race not being due for so many centuries, and you being eligible for membership in it, there is no sequence. When the sixth race has fully come, many degenerate examples of the bodies of the fifth will be here with it and among it, but no special place will be kept for its development.

Path, January, 1895


A correspondent of PATH says:

I am unable to get a comprehensive view of evolution theosophically. Does a "round" mean once around the 7 planets which belong to the earth chain? If so, how is the moon our parent?

A round means a going once around the seven globes of the earth-chain. It was also called a "ring." Some have confused it with incarnating in the seven races on any one planet. The seven races have to go seven times around the seven globes of this chain, developing in each the characteristics of each, which cannot be obtained in any other way.

There are seven globes in the chain, of which the earth is one. The other six are not visible to us, as they are made of matter in a different state, and on a different plane from matter as we know it and see it. The first race began on Globe No. 1 and carried on evolution there, and then went to Globe No. 2, and so on all around the seven. This it did seven times. Race No. 2 proceeded similarly, having in its possession all that was gained by No.1. We are now the Fifth Race engaged in going round the whole chain; hence we are called those of the Fourth Round, but are the Fifth Race. We must go round the whole chain of 7 planets 3 times more before as a race we are perfected.

When the Seventh Round is finished, as well as the halt for rest that follows, we begin again as a Sixth Race and go through Seven Rounds as such. When that is concluded we begin as the Seventh Race and repeat the process of Seven Rounds through the chain, thus bringing the grand evolution


for this chain to a perfect end. After that we pass on upon a higher plane, the possessors of all the knowledge and development acquired during that sevenfold progress. This is the outline of the grand scheme, and, as you see, includes the whole series of seven planets.

But in every round of planets, on each one, and in each race as it begins and proceeds, there are many sub-races, root races, and offshoots, all necessary in the process of development for each race. For a race cannot spring up in a moment, out of nothing; it must grow forth from something. Therefore a new race is made by offshoots making sub-roots that finally grow slowly in the main race which will be. This is occurring in America, and hence here is afforded a present and perfect illustration. For here many examples of various root and sub and offshoot races coming together, by generation of children among themselves, are producing the sub-root for the new race. This process will go on for a long period, during which old, decayed branchlets and offshoot families and races will be absorbed into the new growing stem, and when the time is ready―a long way off―for the new race, all will have to migrate to the next planet.

It is now plain that ring and round do not mean the process of going through the race in its process of formation on any planet, as its beginnings come on and are finally replaced by its finished product, but that these words refer to the grand march around the whole chain of globes, of which this earth is the fourth.

The question about the moon ought now to be clear. It is evident that the moon is not one of the 7 planets. By reading the Secret Doctrine we see that the moon is a deserted planet on the same plane as the earth―a fourth-round globe of a previous manvantara. It is the old fourth globe of an old chain, and is the parent of the earth, while the other six globes of our chain have similar parents, visible only from those globes. It is our parent because we came from it when the hour struck, long ago, for the migration from it of the humanity that had thereon passed through its grand sevenfold pilgrimage. In like


manner, some future day, this earth will become "a moon" to some newer planet not now born.

Ques. 2―If the prototype of all forms has always existed, how can new forms come through evolution of the physical or material?

New material forms may come, but they are not prototypes. The latter are not material, therefore no confusion between the two can exist. There is evolution of material forms, but prototypes remain unaffected. This is a question which requires the questioner to look up exact meanings of the words used by him. It is not substantial. Fix the true meanings and the confusion will vanish.

Ques. 3―If man made his first appearance as a material body, why does the embryo pass through all the changes, vegetable and animal, before birth?

It is the order of nature. All the atoms have to grow used to their work before they can do it well and quickly. At first as astral atoms only, they do it over and over again until all the atoms acquire the habit of doing it without fail. They then go on to other work. This having been the way for ages, the human body is now gestated in nine months, whereas at earlier periods such gestation took years, later on fewer years, and finally as now. In future times the process will be finished more quickly, and then the embryo will pass through all these old states almost instantaneously. The reason, therefore, is that the physical human molecules of this period of evolution have only acquired the ability to pass through the series in nine months, as a result of millions of years of prior slow work. For nature goes by steps, one at a time. The embryo exhibits these phases because there are still left in the matter used the old impressions, and racial evolution is gradually wiping them out by transforming them into new organs, by eliminating those not useful and by condemning others. When the work is fully understood by every atom so that it acts with unerring, machine-like precision, it will be possible to bring out a body in a very short space of time.

Path, July, 1892


IN the June PATH there was printed a review of a pamphlet issued by the London Lodge T. S., and this magazine may perhaps be construed as committed to an approval of everything contained in the pamphlet, although the private initials of the reviewer were annexed to the remarks. The pamphlet referred to brings up an old dispute which we had thought was settled by what is found in The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, running from page 162 to 168. "Gratification of curiosity is the end of knowledge for some men," wrote H.P.B.'s teacher, and this curiosity led to a question being put some years ago to the Adepts, who furnished the main body of Esoteric Buddhism and all the important matter in The Secret Doctrine, in respect to other visible globes. The author of Esoteric Buddhism then construed the reply to mean that Mars and Mercury are two of the seven planets of the earth-chain of globes. H.P.B., the only person in actual and constant communication with the Masters, corrected the mistake made by Mr. Sinnett in the pages of The Secret Doctrine to which I have referred, saying on page 164: "But neither Mars nor Mercury belongs to our chain; they are, along with the other planets, septenary Units in the great host of 'chains' of our system, and all are as visible as their upper globes are invisible." Her correction of the misconception was made upon the written authority of the same Masters who sent through her the letters on which Esoteric Buddhism was written.

On the ground of authority in respect to this question, about which none of the Theosophical writers have any information independent of what the Masters have written, we must con-


clude that the statement in The Secret Doctrine is final. If no other point were involved, there would be no necessity for going further with the matter, but as the consistency of the entire philosophy is involved, it is necessary to advert again to this subject.

The two Masters who had to do with Esoteric Buddhism and The Secret Doctrine have distinctly said:―first, that none of the other globes of the earth-chain are visible from its surface; second, that various planets are visible in the sky to us because they are in their turn fourth-plane planets, representing to our sight their own septenary chains; third, that the six companion globes of the earth are united with it in one mass, but differ from it as to class of substance; fourth, that Mr. Sinnett misunderstood them when he thought they meant to say that Mars and Mercury were two of the six fellow globes of the earth―and this correction they make most positively in The Secret Doctrine; lastly, they have said that the entire philosophy is one of correspondences, and must be so viewed in every part. We do not understand that Mr. Sinnett has said that H.P.B. was not reporting the Masters when she wrote the above in The Secret Doctrine, or that the Masters have denied that they hold the above views.

If we admit that Mars and Mercury are two visible planets of the seven-fold chain belonging to the earth, then the consistency of the philosophy is destroyed, for as it is with planets, so it is with man. Every planet, considered for the moment as an individual, is to be analysed in the same way as a single human being, subject to the same laws in the same way. Hence, if two of the principles of the earth are visible, that is, Mars and Mercury, then why is it that two of man's seven principles are not visible, in addition to his body? In his seven-fold constitution his body represents the earth in her septenary chain, but he cannot see objectively any other of his principles. The philosophy must be consistent throughout. If it is inconsistent at one point it fails at every other. The same Masters who have communicated through H.P.B. with Mr.

Sinnett for the purpose of having Esoteric Buddhism written, have over and over again positively stated that the law of


correspondence rules throughout in this philosophy.

The earth is a fourth-plane planet. The beings upon it are now in the fourth stage, and for that reason cannot see objectively any planet that is not on the same plane of development, and every planet which they see is for that reason a fourth-plane planet. If this be correct, then Mars and Mercury must be fourth-plane planets, and hence not in the earth's chain of globes.

If we assume with the writer of the pamphlet referred to that Mars and Mercury are two out of the whole seven of which the earth is a third, then the question arises, To what principle do these two planets correspond?, for they must correspond to either prana, kama, astral body, Manas, Buddhi, or Atman. Any attempt at an answer to this question will show the confusion in the assumption; for it is admitted that Mars is in obscuration, and the natural question then would be, Which of the earth's principles is correspondingly in obscuration'? In attempting to answer this from the assumption started with, we have the statement that Mars is the planet we have last been in, hence it must represent a disused faculty or principle, and not one which we are about to develop. As Manas is the next principle to be fully developed, it would follow that Mars does not represent it, and hence the whole matter falls into confusion, because the first four principles have been already developed and are not in disuse. Following this on the false assumption, then Mars would represent an eighth principle.

Mars is in a state of obscuration at the present time, as stated by the Masters and H.P.B. This is because, in that chain of development, the Egos have finished their fourth round, or because the fourth round has not yet commenced, except in respect to the planet itself as a place of habitation, the Egos having passed on to the next globe of that chain, quite as invisible from the surface of Mars as our next globe in order is invisible from our surface. The same may be said for Mercury, except in respect to obscuration, since the information vouchsafed about it declares that it is beginning to get out of the obscuration caused by the absence of Egos.

A reference to the pages of The Secret Doctrine referred to


above will be found helpful on this point. It is also stated on page 163 of that book, Vol. 1, on the authority of the Masters, that "No companion planets from A to Z, that is, no upper globes of any chain in the Solar System, can be seen." I may say that the relation borne by Mars and Mercury to the earth will not be spoken of or explained by the Masters. Furthermore, one of the Masters wrote to the author of Esoteric Buddhism in respect to this matter, stating, "You are putting me questions pertaining to the highest initiation. I can give you only a general view, but I dare not, nor will I enter upon details."

It is not necessary for us to know the relation between Mars, Mercury, and the Earth, especially, nor to know whether Mars and Mercury are in any particular state; all that is necessary is to know, do they or not belong to our chain? And that they do not has been distinctly stated, both from the position of authority and upon the ground of consistent philosophy. Upon authority, because in no other way can we solve this riddle; upon philosophy, to show the reasonableness of the authoritative statement. All such difficulties can be solved by remembering and working upon the law that, as it is in respect to man and his principles or vehicles, so it is in respect to any planet whatever.

Path, July, 1893William Q. Judge


PLACE has been given to Mr. Sinnett's admirably written article "Esoteric Teaching" for two good reasons: first, because he requested its publication, and second, because the theme is excellent and the time propitious. But by its appearance the PATH is not bound to the conclusions of the learned author.*

Roughly summarizing the history of the recrudescence of the teaching of the Lodge for this century, we find H.P.B. publicly beginning it, though guardedly, in Isis Unveiled as herself the messenger of the real Teachers behind. At that time (1875) she gave private teachings1 in America to certain persons. Then in India in the Theosophist, with H.P.B. as editor, it proceeds to further unfolding in articles entitled "Fragments of Occult Truth." It is a pity this name was not preserved and used for the book which the "Fragments" after-wards became―Esoteric Buddhism. Later the Occult World came out in 1884, and also Esoteric Buddhism. During all this time H.P.B. was doing her own work with others, explaining the same philosophy as was given to Mr. Sinnett, and contributed to literature the Key to Theosophy and the Secret Doctrine. The fact―not denied by Mr. Sinnett or anyone―is that the letters from the Masters from which the matter for Esoteric Buddhism was taken came in the main through H.P.B., for although it is true she "showed surprise" to Mr.

* In the article here referred to by Mr. Judge, published in the same issue of the Path, Mr. Sinnett had commented critically on the article, "Mars and Mercury."

1 Moreover, a considerable part of the philosophy expounded by Mr. Sinnett was taught in America, even before Isis Unveiled was published, to two Europeans and to my colleague, Col. H. S. Olcott.―Secret Doctrine, vol. I, p. xix.


Sinnett on seeing certain things communicated to him in letters from the Masters, the surprise was not at teachings which were new to her, but surprise that they were divulged at all, for she knew the teaching, inasmuch as she taught it under pledge as far back as from 1875 to 1878 in America.

In her Secret Doctrine, availing herself of the same teachers to whom she introduced Mr. Sinnett, she corrected two errors into which she said he had fallen, i.e., respecting Devachan and our companion planets. It is a perfectly unthinkable proposition to say that she was not advised by the Masters when writing the Secret Doctrine. I who saw many of the Masters' letters in 1888 in reference to the Secret Doctrine certainly cannot give up the evidence of my inner and outer senses. I know as surely as I know any fact that the same teachers were giving her in 1887 and 1888, as before, information for that book, in black upon white, and I am certain they dictated the corrections given in Secret Doctrine upon the points now before us. Evidence, eye-sight, and tradition confirm it, for in 1876 to 1878, I was given by her the same theories and the clue to the misunderstanding which a desire for consistency as to mere words has now aroused.

Even in 1888 it was not the time to make the point precisely clear to the public. Times have rule in occult teaching more than most readers―or writers―of theosophical books suspect. But the clue was given, a broad hint was thrown out. It is now the time when what I was told in 1876 and 1878 by the Masters through H.P.B. may be told, since the prohibition put personally upon me has been withdrawn.

The questions respecting Mars and Mercury―and I might add those which might have been but were not put about Venus―did touch upon other questions on the outskirts of higher initiations and which never are and never will be answered before the right time. The statement in the Master's letter to Mr. Sinnett that the questions put by the latter approached too near to secrets of higher initiations did not, it is true, refer directly to these questions about Mars and Mercury, but that does not alter the fact that all the questions then propounded on this planetary subject touched the deli-


cate area; and whether Mr. Sinnett or anyone else liked it or not, attention had to be drawn off even at the risk of creating a temporary confusion on the topic. But in 1888 time had rolled on further, and now it is 1893, and nearer and nearer to another cycle. The clue may now be given. It may be noticed, if readers will observe, that the many questions raised in reference to Mars and Mercury served the additional purpose of so distracting the attention of questioners that hardly any queries were raised about the subject of "Cycles" on which the Masters had the completest information but about which the Lodge is more careful to remain silent than in respect to other points yet the cycles are more important and have more bearing on life than Mars and Mercury.

Mars, Mercury, and Venus have a special and direct relation to this earth and its invisible companions. Those three visible spheres have to do with certain cosmic principles and lines of influence in and on the earth, while the remaining visible planets of the Solar System have not the same relation. Read it thus, as taught before Mr. Sinnett was in the T.S., and as repeated in the Secret Doctrine:

The unseen companions of your earth are united with it in mass, though different as to quality of substance. The visible planets of your Solar System which have a relation special and peculiar to Earth are Mars, Mercury, and Venus. But what that peculiar―nay wonderful―relation is do not ask, for we will not tell you. If while the current is open you persist in the question, you will arouse in yourselves a perplexity which the answer obtained will not relieve. Is there not a spirit of irritation, of rage, and another of wisdom and active judgment in man and Nature which may relate to visible planets which are not an actual part of earth's own special family? This is as far as we will now go.

The whole misunderstanding hinges on the word "relation." It was a word which led up to many things. The presence of Mars and Mercury in the sky presents a relation to the earth. yet they have another relation to it which Saturn, Jupiter, and so on have not, while the latter bear the same relation to us of proximity as do the first. Admit the proposed construction above given, and at once there is complete concordance between Esoteric Buddhism and Secret Doctrine as to esoteric


divulgements. But continue the controversy to try and show that Esoteric Buddhism had not a single blunder, and perplexities of all sorts impossible to relieve will spring up on every hand. The Masters have commended the book, and well so, as it is made up from their letters. But that does not prevent one making slight mistakes, as, for instance, the one that all men stay in devachan for 1500 years. This is not the fact, nor is it according to reason. And I make bold to say that it is not 1500 years since I was last in devachan, but much less; and this assertion is made on personal knowledge supported by confirmatory statement from the same Masters. But it is true that the general run of the human race stays in devachan for the average time of 1500 years of mortal time.

Mars, Mercury, Venus, then, are a part of our system in the sense of having an extremely important relation and influence with the human race and its planets, and having that in mind it was quite permissible for the teacher to reply that Mars and Mercury belong to our system.

Path, September, 1893William Q. Judge


PROBABLY no heavenly body has received as much attention from men in all ages as our moon. Many causes contributed to this. The Moon is near us; she is a remarkable and large object in the sky; she enlightens the night; she appears to have much to do with man and his affairs. Omens, spells, wishes, oracles, divination, traditions cluster around her during all time. It would be difficult to find a scripture that does not exalt the moon. The Christian Bible says that God ordained that the sun should rule the day and the moon the night. The Roman Church depicts Mary the Mother of God holding the child while she stands upon the crescent moon. The twelfth chapter of Revelations opens thus:

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

Other religions are the same as this modern Hebraic one in giving the moon a very great prominence.

Even science cannot escape the fascination. The brilliancy and nearness of the moon and her many recurring changes all aid in fixing the attention of science. Modern and ancient science alike unite in watching the night's great light as she performs her journey round us. Nations regulate themselves and their acts, religious and commercial, by the moon. Feast days of the church are fixed more by the lunar than the solar calendar, for all the movable feasts depend on the moon. Calendars rule commercial affairs in credits, obligations, and settlements.


From earliest times the calendar, ruled in fact by the moon's motion, has been of immense interest to man. Periodically rulers of the earth try to reform the calendar of days and months when it as periodically gets out of order. The present arrangement of months with twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty, and thirty-one days was invented to make a calendar which would last some centuries before another one will be needed, just because the moon's motion will not give twelve regular months, but twelve regular ones and one small one of about six days. And when the present style of reckoning was introduced, many communities of men in Europe rebelled because they thought they had been deprived of some actual days of life.

Cæsar ordered a reformation of the calendar by attempting to use the sun, but in time it fell into great confusion. Pope Gregory XIII directed ten days to be suppressed, and then found that the Julian calendar had an error which would amount to three days in four hundred years―quite a serious matter. The Gregorian year now prevails, except in Russia. But still the greater number of men and the greater number of festivals depend on the moon and her motion. While if we examine the records relating to superstition, we will find that whatever may have been the place once held by the sun, it has been usurped by the moon, leaving one nation distinctly worshipers of the Lord of Day.

Modern Theosophy, coming on the field as the uniter of all religions by explaining the symbols and traditions of each, is not exempt from the mystery of the moon. H. P. Blavatsky is our sole originator of a theory regarding the satellite which one could not have invented with the most wonderful imagination. She says her teachers told her, and leaves us to work out the details; but her theory will bear investigation if taken as part of the whole evolutionary scheme reported by her. If we had thought to escape from lunar dreams and puzzles we were in error, for while she plainly asserts that the former body of the entity now called Man's Earth is the very moon in our sky, the existence of a mystery is as plainly declared. The first mystery which she claimed to reveal - and, indeed, she


first of every one states it―is that in a remote period, when there was no earth, the moon existed as an inhabited globe, died, and at once threw out into space all her energies, leaving nothing but the physical vehicle. Those energies revolved and condensed the matter in space near by and produced our earth; the moon, its parent, proceeding towards disintegration, but compelled to revolve around her child, this earth. This gives us a use and history for the moon.

But then the same messenger says that the "superstition" prevailing so long and widely as to the moon's bad influence, as in insanity, in necromancy, and the like, is due to the fact that the moon, being a corpse intimately associated with earth, throws upon the latter, so very near to her, a stream of noxious emanations which, when availed of by wicked and knowing persons, may be used for man's injury. Then the same writer goes on to assert that six mysterious doctrines or facts remain yet untold, and all relating to the moon.

It would be idle to speculate on these mysteries, for it has ever been found that unless the Great Initiates speak, the general run of men can but modify, enlarge, or intertwine by their fancy those facts and doctrines of which they have heard. But as to the fate of the moon, H.P.B., speaking for those Initiates, says plainly what is to become of our satellite.

In the first volume of Secret Doctrine, in a foot note on page 155 of the first edition, she writes:

Both [Mercury and Venus] are far older than the Earth, and, before the latter reaches her seventh Round her mother moon will have dissolved into thin air, as the "Moons" of the other planets have, or have not, as the case may be, since there are planets which have several moons - a mystery again which no Œdipus of astronomy has solved.

This is extremely plain as to our moon, yet raises another mystery as to the general subject of moons. If correspondence is a law of nature, as I firmly believe, then it would be in accordance with it for the moon, considered as earth's former body, to dissolve all away in course of time. And as evolution proceeds with uniformity, the upward progress of our races and earth should be marked by the gradual fading and final


disappearance of the moon, as H.P.B. says. It is likely that before our sixth round is ended, it being the round relating to Buddhi as the vehicle of spirit, the body of the moon, which was the vehicle for prana and astral body, will have disappeared. Very probably one of the unrevealed mysteries has to do with the uses and purposes of and for the whole mass of matter now constituting the moon's bulk. But whatever those mysteries are, the fate of our satellite is very clearly asserted, for the benefit of those who have confidence in H.P.B.'s teachers, and who are willing to take the key of correspondence for the unlocking of the lock of Nature.

Path, June, 1894William Brehon


AMONG many ideas brought forward through the theosophical movement there are three which should never be lost sight of. Not speech, but thought, really rules the world; so, if these three ideas are good let them be rescued again and again from oblivion.

The first idea is, that there is a great Cause―in the sense of an enterprise―called the Cause of Sublime Perfection and Human Brotherhood. This rests upon the essential unity of the whole human family, and is a possibility because sublimity in perfectness and actual realization of brotherhood on every plane of being are one and the same thing. All efforts by Rosicrucian, Mystic, Mason and Initiate are efforts toward the convocation in the hearts and minds of men of the Order of Sublime Perfection.

The second idea is, that man is a being who may be raised up to perfection, to the stature of the Godhead, because he himself is God incarnate. This noble doctrine was in the mind of Jesus, no doubt, when he said that we must be perfect even as is the father in heaven. This is the idea of human perfectibility. It will destroy the awful theory of inherent original sin which has held and ground down the western Christian nations for centuries.

The third idea is the illustration, the proof, the high result of the others. It is, that the Masters―those who have reached up to what perfection this period of evolution and this solar system will allow―are living, veritable facts, and not abstractions cold and distant. They are, as our old H. P. B. so often


said, living men. And she said, too, that a shadow of woe would come to those who should say they were not living facts, who should assert that "the Masters descend not to this plane of ours." The Masters as living facts and high ideals will fill the soul with hope, will themselves help all who wish to raise the human race.

Let us not forget these three great ideas.

Irish Theosophist, February, 1895William Q. Judge


IN the Key to Theosophy the author says that at the last quarter of each century there is always a distinct movement partaking of the nature of the present Theosophical one, and this opinion is held by many Theosophists. Can these efforts be traced? Did any people call themselves by the name "Theosophist" one hundred years ago? Is it necessary that all such movements should have been called in the past "Theosophical"? And if the claim that such movements are started by the Adepts be true, is the present Society the only body with which those beings work?

Taking up the last question first, we may turn to H.P.B. for authority. She often said that while the T. S. movement of today was distinctly under the care of the Adepts, it was not the only one through which effect was sought to be made on the race-thought and ethics, but that in many different ways efforts were constantly put forward. But still, she insisted, the T. S. wears the badge, so to say, of the Eastern and Ancient Schools, and therefore has on it the distinctive mark―or what the Sanskrit calls lakshana―of the old and united Lodge of Adepts. Inquiring further of reason and tradition, we find that it would be against both to suppose that one single organization should be the sole channel for the efforts of the Brotherhood. For if that Brotherhood has the knowledge and power and objects attributed to it, then it must use every agency which is in touch with humanity. Nor is it necessary to assume that the distinct efforts made in each century, as contradistinguished from the general current of influence in all directions, should be called Theosophical. The Rosicrucians are


often supposed not to have existed at all as a body, but deep students have come to the conclusion that they had an organization. They were Christian in their phraseology and very deep mystics; and while they spoke of Holy Ghost, Sophia, and the like, they taught Theosophy. They were obliged by the temper of the time to suit themselves to the exigencies of the moment, for it would have been extreme folly to destroy the hope of making any effect by rushing out in opposition then. It is different now, when the air and the thought are free and men are not burned by a corrupt church for their opinions. In one sense the T. S. is the child of the Rosicrucian Society of the past. H.P.B. often said this, and inquiry into their ideas confirms the declaration. The Rosicrucians were Christian in the beginning and descendants afterwards of Christians. Even today it is hinted that in one of the great cities of this new Republic there is a great charity begun and carried on with money which has been given by descendants of the Rosicrucians under inward impulse directed by certain of the Adepts who were members of that body. For blood does count for something in this, that until an Adept has passed up into the seventh degree he is often moved in accordance with old streams of heredity. Or to put it another way, it is often easier for an Adept to influence one who is in his direct physical line than one who by consanguinity as well as psychic heredity is out of the family.

Looking into Germany of 200 years ago, we at once see Jacob Boehme. He was an ignorant shoemaker, but illuminated from within, and was the friend and teacher of many great and learned men. His writings stirred up the Church; they have influence today. His life has many indications in it of help from the Masters of Wisdom. A widespread effect from his writings can be traced through Germany and over to France even after his death. He called himself a Christian, but he was also named "Theosopher," which is precisely Theosophist, for it was only after his day that people began to use "ist" instead of "er." Long after his death the influence lasted. In the sixties many hundreds of his books were deliberately sent all over the world. They were given free to libraries all over


the United States, and prepared the way for the work of the Theosophical Society in an appreciable measure, though not wholly.

One hundred years ago there was such a movement in France, one of the agents of which was Louis Claude, Count St. Martin, whose correspondence was called "Theosophical correspondence." He refers to Boehme, and also to unseen but powerful help which saved him from dangers during the Revolution. His books, L'Homme de Desir and others, were widely read, and there are hints of a Society which, however, was compelled to keep itself secret. At the same date almost may be noted the great American Revolution influenced by Thomas Paine, who, though reviled now by ignorant theologians, was publicly thanked by Washington and the first Congress. This republic is a Theosophical effort, for it gives freedom, and fortunately does not declare for any particular religion in the clauses of its Constitution. Hints have been thrown out that the Adepts had some hand in the revolt of the Colonies in 1775. In replying to Mr. Sinnett some years ago, it was written by his Teacher that the Brotherhood dealt with all important human movements, but no one could arraign the body at the bar and demand proofs.

Bro. Buck wrote in 1889: "I have a volume entitled Theosophical Transactions of the Philadelphian Society, London, 1697, and another dated 1855, entitled Introduction to Theosophy or the Science of the Mystery of Christ, and in 1856 Theosophical Miscellanies was issued."

About 1500 years ago Ammonius Saccas made a similar effort which was attended with good results. He had almost the same platform as the T. S., and taught that the aim of Jesus was to show people the truth in all religions and to restore the ancient philosophy to its rightful seat. It is not at all against the theory we are dealing with that the various efforts were not dubbed with the same name. Those who work for the good of humanity, whether they be Adepts or not, do not care for a mere name; it is the substantive effort they seek, and not a vindication in the eyes of men of being first or original


or anything else.

But we have only considered the Western World. All these centuries since A.D.1, and long before that, Theosophical efforts were put forth in Asia, for we must not forget that our theories, as well as those of Ammonius Saccas, are Eastern in their origin. However much nations may at first ignore the heathen and barbarian, they at last came to discover that it is frequently to the heathen the Christian owes his religion and philosophy. So while Europe was enjoying the delights of rude and savage life, the Easterns were elaborating, refining, and perfecting the philosophy to which we owe so much. We who believe in the Adepts as Brothers of Humanity must suppose that ignorance did not prevail in the Brotherhood as to the effect sure to be one day produced in Europe whenever her attention could be diverted from money-making and won to the great Eastern stores of philosophy. This effect came about through England, Germany, and France. Frenchmen first drew attention to the Upanishads, Germans went in for Sanscrit, and England conquered India, so that her metaphysical mines could be examined in peace. We have seen the result of all this more and more every year. There is less ignorant, narrow prejudice against the "heathen," the masses are beginning to know that the poor Hindu is not to be despised in the field of thought, and a broader, better feeling has gradually developed. This is much better than the glorification of any Brotherhood, and the Lodge is always aiming at such results, for selfish pride, arrogance, and the love of personal dominion have no place therein. Nor should they in our present Theosophical Society.

Path, August, 1892William Brehon


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: Let me read you a few verses from some of the ancient Scriptures of the world, from the old Indian books held sacred by the Brahmans of Hindustan.1

What room for doubt and what room for sorrow is there in him who knows that all spiritual beings are the same in kind and only differ from each other in degree?

The sun does not shine there, nor the moon and the stars, nor these lightnings and much less this fire. When He shines, everything shines after Him; by His light all this is lighted.

Lead me from the unreal to the real! Lead me from darkness to light!
Lead me from death to immortality!

Seeking for refuge, I go to that God who is the light of His own thoughts; He who first creates Brahman and delivers the Vedas to him; who is without parts, without actions, tranquil, without fault, the highest bridge to immortality, like a fire that has consumed its fuel. - Mundaka Upanishad.

Such are some of the verses, out of many thousands, which are enshrined in the ancient Hindu Vedas beloved by those we have called "heathen"; those are the sentiments of the people we have called idolaters only.

As the representative of the Theosophical movement I am glad to be here, and to be assigned to speak on what are the points of agreement in all religions. I am glad because The-

1 An address delivered April 17th, 1894, before the Parliament of Religions at San Francisco, Calif., by William Q. Judge.

The Midwinter Fair at San Francisco had annexed to it a Religious parliament modeled after the first great one of 1893 at Chicago. Dr. J. D. Buck and William Q. Judge, the latter as General Secretary American Section, were officially invited to address the Parliament at one of its sessions as representatives of the Theosophical movement. Time was so short that all speakers were limited to thirty minutes each; for that reason the address is not as full as it would be had more time been granted. But the occasion once more showed the strength of the T.S. movement.


osophy is to be found in all religions and all sciences. We, as members of the Theosophical Society, endorse to the fullest extent those remarks of your chairman in opening, when he said, in effect, that a theology which stayed in one spot without advancing was not a true theology, but that we had advanced to where theology should include a study of man. Such a study must embrace his various religions, both dead and living. And pushing that study into those regions we must conclude that man is greatly his own revealer, has revealed religion to himself, and therefore that all religions must include and contain truth; that no one religion is entitled to a patent or exclusive claim upon truth or revelation, or is the only one that God has given to man, or the only road along which man can walk to salvation. If this be not true, then your Religious Parliament is no Parliament, but only a body of men admiring themselves and their religion. But the very existence of this Parliament proclaims the truth of what I have said, and shows the need which the Theosophical Society has for nineteen years been asserting, of a dutiful, careful, and brotherly inquiry into all the religions of the world, for the purpose of discovering what the central truths are upon which each and every religion rests, and what the original fountain from which they have come. This careful and tolerant inquiry is what we are here for today; for that the Theosophical Society stands and has stood: for toleration, for unity, for the final and irrevocable death of all dogmatism.

But if you say that religion must have been revealed, then surely God did not wait for several millions of years before giving it to those poor beings called men. He did not, surely, wait until He found one poor Semitic tribe to whom He might give it late in the life of the race? Hence He must have given it in the very beginning, and therefore all present religions must arise from one fount.

What are the great religions of the world and from whence have they come? They are Christianity, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Mohammedanism. The first named is the youngest, with all its war-


ring sects, with Mormonism as an offshoot and with Roman Catholicism boldly claiming sole precedence and truth.

Brahmanism is the old and hoary religion of India, a grown-up, fully-developed system long before either Buddhism or Christianity was born. It extends back to the night of time, and throws the history of religion far, far beyond any place where modern investigators were once willing to place even the beginning of religious thought. Almost the ancient of ancients, it stands in far-off India, holding its holy Vedas in its hands, calmly waiting until the newer West shall find time out of the pursuit of material wealth to examine the treasures it contains.

Buddhism, the religion of Ceylon, of parts of China, of Burmah and Japan and Tibet, comes after its parent Brahmanism. It is historically older than Christianity and contains the same ethics as the latter, the same laws and the same examples, similar saints and identical fables and tales relating to Lord Buddha, the Saviour of Men. It embraces today, after some twenty-five hundred years of life, more people than any other religion, for two-thirds of the human family profess it.

Zoroastrianism also fades into the darkness of the past. It too teaches ethics such as we know. Much of its ritual and philosophy is not understood, but the law of brotherly love is not absent from it; it teaches justice and truth, charity and faith in God, together with immortality. In these it agrees with all, but it differs from Christianity in not admitting a vicarious salvation, which it says is not possible.

Christianity of today is modern Judaism, but the Christianity of Jesus is something different. He taught forgiveness, Moses taught retaliation, and that is the law today in Christian State and Church. "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" is still the recognized rule, but Jesus taught the opposite. He fully agreed with Buddha, who, preaching 500 years before the birth of the Jewish reformer, said we must love one another and forgive our enemies. So modern Christianity is not the religion of Jesus, but Buddhism and the religion of Jesus accord with one another in calling for charity,


complete tolerance, perfect non-resistance, absolute self-abnegation.

If we compare Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism together on the points of ritual, dogmas, and doctrines, we find not only agreement but a marvellous similarity as well, which looks like an imitation on the part of the younger Christianity. Did the more modern copy the ancient? It would seem probable. And some of the early Christian Fathers were in the habit of saying, as we find in their writings, that Christianity brought nothing new into the world, that it existed from all time.

If we turn to ritual, so fully exemplified in the Roman Catholic Church, we find the same practices and even similar clothing and altar arrangements in Buddhism, while many of the prescribed rules for the altar and approaching or leaving it are mentioned very plainly in far more ancient directions governing the Brahman when acting as priest. This similarity was so wonderful in the truthful account given by the Catholic priest Abbé Huc that the alarmed Church first explained that the devil, knowing that Christianity was coming, went ahead and invented the whole thing for the Buddhists by a species of ante facto copying, so as to confound innocent Catholics therewith; and then they burned poor Abbé Huc's book. As to stations of the cross, now well known to us, or the rosary, confession, convents, and the like, all these are in the older religion. The rosary was long and anciently used in Japan, where they had over one hundred and seventy-two sorts. And an examination of the mummies of old Egypt reveals rosaries placed with them in the grave, many varieties being used. Some of these I have seen. Could we call up the shades of Babylon's priests, we should doubtless find the same rituals there.

Turning to doctrines, that of salvation by faith is well known in Christianity. It was the cause of a stormy controversy in the time of St. James. But very strangely, perhaps, for many Christians, the doctrine is a very old Brahmanical one. They call it "The Bridge Doctrine," as it is the great Bridge. But with them it does not mean a faith in some particular


emanation of God, but God is its aim. God is the means and the way, and God the end of the faith; by complete faith in God, without an intermediary, God will save you. They also have a doctrine of salvation by faith in those great sons of God, Krishna, Rama, and others; complete faith in either of those is for them a way to heaven, a bridge for the crossing over all sins. Even those who were killed by Krishna, in the great war detailed in the Ramayana, went straight to heaven because they looked at him, as the thief on the cross looking at Jesus went to Paradise. In Buddhism is the same doctrine of faith. The twelve great sects of Buddhism in Japan have one called the Sect of the Pure Land. This teaches that Amitabha vowed that any one who calls three times on his name would be born into his pure Land of Bliss. He held that some men may be strong enough to prevail against the enemy, but that most men are not, and need some help from another. This help is found in the power of the vow of Amita Buddha, who will help all those who call on his name. The doctrine is a modified form of vicarious atonement, but it does not exclude the salvation by works which the Christian St. James gives out.

Heaven and Hell are also common to Christianity, Buddhism, and Brahmanism. The Brahman calls it Swarga; the Buddhist, Devachan; and we, Heaven. Its opposite is Naraka and Avitchi. But names apart, the descriptions are the same. Indeed, the hells of the Buddhists are very terrible, long in duration and awful in effect. The difference is that the heaven and hell of the Christian are eternal, while the others are not. The others come to an end when the forces which cause them are exhausted. In teaching of more than one heaven there is the same likeness, for St. Paul spoke of more than a single heaven to one of which he was rapt away, and the Buddhist tells of many, each being a grade above or below some other. Brahman and Buddhist agree in saying that when heaven or hell is ended for the soul, it descends again to rebirth. And that was taught by the Jews. They held that the soul was originally pure, but sinned and had to wander through rebirth until purified and fit to return to its source.

In priesthood and priestcraft there is a perfect agreement


among all religions, save that the Brahman instead of being ordained a priest is so by birth. Buddha's priesthood began with those who were his friends and disciples. After his death they met in council, and subsequently many councils were held, all being attended by priests. Similar questions arose among them as with the Christians, and identical splits occurred, so that now there are Northern and southern Buddhism and the twelve sects of Japan. During the life of Buddha the old query of admitting women arose and caused much discussion. The power of the Brahman and Buddhist priests is considerable, and they demand as great privileges and rights as the Christian ones.

Hence we are bound to conclude that dogmatically and theologically these religions all agree. Christianity stands out, however, as peculiarly intolerant―and in using the word "intolerant" I but quote from some priestly utterances regarding the World's Fair parliament―for it claims to be the only true religion that God has seen fit to reveal to man.

The great doctrine of a Savior who is the son of God―God himself―is not an original one with Christianity. It is the same as the extremely ancient one of the Hindus called the doctrine of the Avatar. An Avatar is one who comes down to earth to save man. He is God incarnate. Such was Krishna, and such even the Hindus admit was Buddha, for he is one of the great ten Avatars. The similarity between Krishna or Cristna and Christ has been very often remarked. He came 5,000 years ago to save and benefit man, and his birth was in India, his teaching being Brahmanical. He, like Jesus, was hated by the ruler, Kansa, who desired to destroy him in advance, and who destroyed many sons of families in order to accomplish his end, but failed. Krishna warred with the powers of darkness in his battles with Ravana, whom he finally killed. The belief about him was that he was the incarnation of God. This is in accord with the ancient doctrine that periodically the Great Being assumes the form of man for the preservation of the just, the establishment of virtue and order, and the punishment of the wicked. Millions of man and women read


every day of Krishna in the Ramayana of Tulsi Das. His praises are sung each day and reiterated at their festivals. Certainly it seems rather narrow and bigoted to assume that but one tribe and one people are favored by the appearance among them of an incarnation in greater measure of God.

Jesus taught a secret doctrine to his disciples. He said to them that he taught the common people in stories of a simple sort, but that the disciples could learn of the mysteries. And in the early age of Christianity that secret teaching was known. In Buddhism is the same thing, for Buddha began with one vehicle or doctrine, proceeded after to two, and then to a third. He also taught a secret doctrine that doubtless agreed with the Brahmans who had taught him at his father's court. He gave up the world, and later gave up eternal peace in Nirvana, so that he might save men. In this the story agrees with that of Jesus. And Buddha also resisted Mara, or the Devil, in the wilderness. Jesus teaches that we must be as perfect as the Father, and that the kingdom of heaven is within each. To be perfect as the Father we must be equal with him, and hence here we have the ancient doctrine taught of old by the Brahmins that each man is God and a part of God. This supports the unity of humanity as a spiritual whole, one of the greatest doctrines of the time prior to Christianity, and now also believed in Brahmanism.

That the universe is spiritual in essence, that man is a spirit and immortal, and that man may rise to perfection, are universal doctrines. Even particular doctrines are common to all the religions. Reincarnation is not alone in Hinduism or Buddhism. It was believed by the Jews, and not only believed by Jesus but he also taught it. For he said that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elias "who was for to come." Being a Jew he must have had the doctrines of the Jews, and this was one of them. And in Revelations we find the writer says: "Him that overcometh I will make a pillar in the house of my God, and he shall go out no more."

The words "no more" infer a prior time of going out.

The perfectibility of man destroys the doctrine of original sin, and it was taught by Jesus, as I said. Reincarnation is a


necessity for the evolution of this perfection, and through it at last are produced those Saviors of the race of whom Jesus was one. He did not deny similar privileges to others, but said to his disciples that they could do even greater works than he did. So we find these great Sages and Saviors in all religions. There are Moses and Abraham and Solomon, all Sages. And we are bound to accept the Jewish idea that Moses and the rest were the reincarnations of former persons. Moses was in their opinion Abel the son of Adam; and their Messiah was to be a reincarnation of Adam himself who had already come the second time in the person of David. We take the Messiah and trace him up to David, but refuse, improperly, to accept the remainder of their theory.

Descending to every-day-life doctrines, we find that of Karma, or that we must account and receive for every act. This is the great explainer of human life. It was taught by Jesus and Matthew and St. Paul. The latter explicitly said:

"Brethren, be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap."

This is Karma of the Brahman and Buddhist, which teaches that each life is the outcome of a former life or lives, and that every man in his rebirths will have to account for every thought and receive measure for the measure given by him before.

In ethics all these religions are the same, and no new ethic is given by any. Jesus was the same as his predecessor, Buddha, and both taught the law of love and forgiveness. A consideration of the religions of the past and today from a Theosophical standpoint will support and confirm ethics. We therefore cannot introduce a new code, but we strive by looking into all religions to find a firm basis, not due to fear, favor, or injustice, for the ethics common to all. This is what Theosophy is for and what it will do. It is the reformer of religion, the unifier of diverse systems, the restorer of justice to our theory of the universe. It is our past, our present, and our future; it is our life, our death, and our immortality.

Path, July, 1894


THAT the Theosophical Society is not opposed to Christianity in either its dogmatic or pure form is easily demonstrated. Our constitution forbids it and the second object of the Society does also. The laws of our body say that there shall be no crusade against any religion, tacitly excepting, of course, the few degraded and bestial religions now in the world; the second object provides for a full and free study of all religions without bias and without hatred or sectarianism. And our history also, offering to view branch societies all over the world composed of Christians, refutes the charge that the Society as such is opposed to Christianity. One instance is enough, that of the well-known Scottish Lodge, which states in its printed Transactions No. IX, "Theosophists who are Christians (and such are the majority of the Scottish Lodge) . . . Therefore Christians who are sincere and who know what Theosophy means must be Theosophists. . . ." If members of this Society have said to the contrary it has been from ignorance and a careless thinking, for on the same ground we should also be opposed to all other religions which have any forms, and both Brahmanism and Buddhism have as much of formalism, as has Christianity. Generally speaking, then, the Society is not and cannot be opposed to Christianity, while it may lead to a denial of some of the men-made theories of that Church.

But that is no more than branches of Christianity have always been doing, nor is it as much a danger to formal Christianity as the new standards of criticism which have crept into the Church.


Nor can it be either that Theosophy as a whole is opposed to Christianity, inasmuch as Theosophy is and must be the one truth underlying all religions that have ever been among men. A calm and sincere examination of all the world's religions reveals the fact that in respect to ethics, in respect to laws, in respect to precepts or example or effect on daily life, or even in respect to cosmogony and cosmology, the other religious books of the world are the same in most respects as those of the Christians, and that the distinguishing difference between the latter's religion and the others is that it asserts an exclusiveness for itself and a species of doctrinal intolerance not found in the rest.

If we take the words and the example of Jesus as the founder of Christianity, it is at once seen that there is no opposition at all between that form of religion and Theosophy. Indeed, there is the completest agreement. New ethics are not brought forward by Theosophy, nor can they be, as ethics of the right sort must always be the same. In his sermons and sayings are to be found the ethics given out by Buddha and by all other great teachers of all time. These cannot be altered, even though they hold up to weak mortals an ideal that is very difficult to live up to and sometimes impossible to realize in daily life. That these rules of conduct laid down by Jesus are admittedly hard to follow is shown in the behavior of Christian states toward each other and in the declarations of their high prelates that the religion of Jesus cannot be the basis for diplomatic relations nor for the state government. Hence we find that the refuge from all this adopted by the theologian is in the statement that, although other and older religions had moral truth and similar ethics to those of Jesus, the Christian religion is the only one wherein the founder asserted that he was not merely a teacher from God but was also at the same time God himself; that is, that prior to Jesus a great deal of good was taught, but God did not see fit until the time of Jesus to come down among men into incarnation. Necessarily such a declaration would seem to have the effect of breeding intolerance from the high and exclusive nature of the claim made. But an examination of Brahmanism shows that Rama


was also God incarnate among men, though there the doctrine did not arouse the same sum of intolerance among its believers. So it must be true that it is not always a necessary consequence of such a belief that aggressive and exclusive intolerance will grow up.

The beliefs and teachings of Christianity are not all supportable by the words of Jesus, but his doctrines are at all times in accord with Theosophy. There is certainly a wide difference between the command of Jesus to be poor and have neither staff nor money and the fact of the possession by the Church of vast sums of money and immense masses of property, and with the drawing of high salaries by prelates, and with the sitting of prelates among the rulers of the earth upon thrones, and in the going to war and the levying of taxes by the Pope and by other religious heads. The gathering of tithes and enforcement of them by law and by imprisonment at the instance of the Protestant clergy are not at all consistent with the words of Jesus. But all of the foregoing inconsistent matters are a part of present Christianity, and if in those respects a difference from or opposition to them should seem to arise from Theosophical teachings we must admit it, but cannot be blamed. If we go back to the times of the early Christians and compare that Christianity with the present form, we see that opposition by Theosophy could hardly be charged, but that the real opposition then would be between that early form of the religion and its present complexion. It has been altered so much that the two are scarcely recognizable as the same. This is so much so that there exists a Christian sect today called "Early Christian."

Every one has at all times a right to object to theological interpretations if they are wrong, or if they distort the original teaching or introduce new notions. In this respect there is a criticism by Theosophy and Theosophists. But thinkers in the world not members of this Society and not leaning to Theosophy do the same thing. Huxley and Tyndall and Darwin and hosts of others took ground that by mere force of truth and fact went against theological views, Galileo also, seeing that the earth was round and moved, said so, but the theolo


gian, thinking that such belief tended to destroy the power of the church and to upset biblical theories, made him recant at the risk of his liberty and life. If the old views of theology were still in force with the state behind them, the triumphs of science would have been few and we might still be imagining the earth to be flat and square and the sun revolving about it.

Theosophical investigation discloses to the student's view the fact that in all ages there have appeared great teachers of religion and that they all had two methods of instruction. One, or that for the masses of people, was plain and easy to understand; it was of ethics, of this life and of the next, of immortality and love; it always gave out the Golden Rule. Such a teacher was Buddha, and there can be no controversy on the fact that he died centuries before the birth of Jesus. He declared his religion to be that of love. Others did the same. Jesus came and taught ethics and love, with the prominent exception of his prophecy that he came to bring a sword and division as recorded in the Gospels. There is also an incident which accents a great difference between him and Buddha; it is the feast where he drank wine and also made some for others to drink. In regard to this matter, Buddha always taught that all intoxicating liquors were to be rigidly abstained from. The second method was the secret or Esoteric one, and that Jesus also used. We find his disciples asking him why he always used easy parables with the people, and he replied that to the disciples he taught the mysteries, or the more recondite matters of religion. This is the same as prevailed with the older saints. Buddha also had his private teachings to certain disciples. He even made a distinction among his personal followers, making classes in their ranks, to one of which he gave the simplest of rules, to the other the complex and difficult. So he must have pursued the ancient practise of having two sects of teachings, and this must have been a consequence of his education.

At twelve years of age he came to the temple and disputed with the learned rabbis on matters of law. Thus he must have known the law; and what that law was and is it is necessary to ask. It was the law of Moses, full of the most technical


and abstruse things, and not all to be found in the simple words of the books. The Hebrew books are a vast mine of cypher designedly so constructed and that should be borne in mind by all students. It ought to be known to Christians, but is not, as they prefer not to go into the mysteries of the Jews. But Jesus knew it. His remark that "not one jot or tittle of the law would pass" show this. Most people read this simply as rhetoric, but it is not so. The jots and tittles are a part of the books and go to make up the cypher of the Cabala or the hidden meaning of the law. This is a vast system of itself, and was not invented after the time of Jesus. Each letter is also a number, and thus every word can be and is, according to a well-known rule, turned into some other word or into a number. Thus one name will be a part of a supposed historical story, but when read by the cypher it becomes a number of some cycle or event or a sign of the Zodiac or something else quite different from the mere letters. Thus the name of Adam is composed of three consonants, A,D, and M. These mean by the system of the cypher respectively, "Adam, David, and Messiah." The Jews also held that Adam for his first sin would have to and did reincarnate as David and would later come as Messiah. Turning to Revelations we find traces of the same system in the remarks about the numbers of the beast and the man. The Cabala or hidden law is of the highest importance, and as the Christian religion is a Hebraic one it cannot be properly studied or understood without the aid given by the secret teaching. And the Cabala is not dead or unknown, but has many treatises written on it in different languages. By using it, we will find in the Old Testament and in the records of Jesus a complete and singular agreement with Theosophy.

Examine for instance, the Theosophical teachings that there is a secret of esoteric doctrine, and the doctrine of inability of man to comprehend God. This is the Brahmanical doctrine of the unapproachableness of Parabrahm. In Exodus there is a story which to the profane is absurd, of God telling Moses that he could not see Him. It is in Exodus xxxiii, 20, where God says Moses could see him from behind only. Treat this by the rule of the Cabala and it is plain, but read it on the


surface and you have nonsense. In Exodus iii, 14, God says that his name is "I am that I am." this is AHYH ASHR AHYH, which has to be turned into its numerical value, as each letter is also a number. Thus A is 1, H is 5, Y is 10, H is 5. There being two words the same, they add up 42. The second word is A, 1; SH, 300; R, 200 making 501, which added to 42 gives 543 as the number of "I am that I am." Now Moses by the same system makes 345 or the reverse of the other, by which the Cabala shows God meant Moses to know God by his reverse or Moses himself. To some this may appear fanciful, but as it is the method on which these old books are constructed it must be known in order to understand what is not clear and to remove from the Christian books the well-sustained charge of absurdity and sometimes injustice and cruelty shown on their face. So instead of God's being made ridiculous by attributing to him such a remark as that Moses could only "see his hinder parts," we perceive that under the words is a deep philosophical tenet corresponding to those of Theosophy, that Parabrahm is not to be known and that Man is a small copy of God through which in some sense or in the reverse we may see God.

For the purposes of this discussion along the line of comparison we will have to place Christianity on one side and put on the other as representing the whole body of Theosophy, so far as revealed, the other various religions of the world, and see what, if anything, is common between them. First we see that Christianity, being the younger, has borrowed its doctrines from other religions. It is now too enlightened an age to say, as the Church did when Abbe Huc brought back his account of Buddhism from Tibet, that either the devil or wicked men invented the old religions so as to confuse and confute the Christian. Evidently, no matter how done, the system of the Christian is mixed Aryan and Jewish. This could not be otherwise, since Jesus was a Jew, and his best disciples and the others who came after like Paul were of the same race and faith.

The early Fathers also, living as they did in Eastern lands, got their ideas from what they found about them.


Next a very slight examination will disclose the fact that the ritual of the Christian Church is also borrowed. Taken from all nations and religions, not one part of it is either of this age or of the Western hemisphere. The Brahmans have an extensive and elaborate ritual, and so have the Buddhists. The rosary, long supposed by Catholics to be a thing of their own, has existed in Japan for uncounted years, and much before the West had any civilization the Brahman had his form of rosary. The Roman Catholic Christian sees the priest ring the bell at a certain part of the Mass, and the old Brahman knows that when he is praying to God he must also ring a bell to be found in every house as well as in the temple. This is very like what Jesus commanded. He said that prayer must be in secret, that is, where no one can hear; the Brahman rings the small bell so that even if ears be near they shall not hear any words but only the sound of the bell. The Christian has images of virgin and child; the same thing is to be found in Egyptian papyri and in carved statues in India made before the Christian came into existence. Indeed, all the ritual and observance of the Christian churches may be found in the mass of other religions with which for the moment we are making a rough comparison.

Turning now to doctrine, we find again complete agreement with the dogmatic part of Christianity in these older religions. Salvation by faith is taught by some priests. That is the old Brahmanical theory, but with the difference that the Brahman one calls for faith in God as the means, the end, and the object of faith. The Christian adds faith in the son of God. A form of Japanese Buddhism said to be due to Amitabha says that one may be saved by complete faith in Amita Buddha, and that even if one prays but three times to Amita he will be saved in accordance with a vow made by that teacher. Immortality of soul has ever been taught by the Brahmans. Their whole system of religion and of cosmogony is founded on the idea of soul and of the spiritual nature of the universe. Jesus and St. Paul taught the unity of spiritual beings―or men―when they said that heaven and the spirit of God were in us, and the doctrine of Unity is one of the oldest and most


important of the Brahmanical scheme. The possibility of arriving at perfection by means of religion and science combined so that a man becomes godlike―or the doctrine of Adepts and Mahatmas as found in Theosophy―is common to Buddhism and Brahmanism, and is not contrary to the teachings of Jesus. He said to his disciples that they could if they would do even greater works―or "miracles"―than he did. To do these works one has to have great knowledge and power. The doctrine assumes the perfectibility of humanity and destroys the theory of original sin; but far from being out of concordance with the religion of Jesus, it is in perfect accord. He directed his followers to be perfect even as the Father in heaven is. They could not come up to that command by any possibility unless man has the power to reach to that high state. The command is the same as is found in the ancient Aryan system. Hence, then, whether we look broadly over the field at mere ritual dogma or at ethics, we find the most complete accord between Theosophy and true Christianity.

But now taking up some important doctrines put forward by members of the Theosophical Society under their right of free investigation and free speech, what do we discover? Novelty, it is true, to the mind of the western man half-taught about his own religion, but nothing that is uncommon to Christianity. Those doctrines may be, for the present, such as Reincarnation or rebirth over and over again for the purpose of discipline and gain, for reward, for punishment, and for enlargement of character; next Karma, or exact justice or compensation for all thoughts and acts. These two are a part of Christianity, and may be found in the Bible.

Reincarnation has been regarded by some Christian ministers as essential to the Christian religion. Dr. Edward Beecher said he saw its necessity, and the Rev. Wm. Alger has recorded his view to the same effect. If a Christian insists upon belief in Jesus, who came only eighteen centuries ago after millenniums had passed and men had died out of the faith by millions, it will be unjust for them to be condemned for a failure to believe a doctrine they never heard of; hence the


Christian may well say that under the law of reincarnation, which was upheld by Jesus, all those who never heard of Jesus will be reborn after his coming in A.D. I, so as to accept the plan of salvation.

In the Gospels we find Jesus referring to this doctrine as if a well established one. When it was broached by the disciples as the possible reason for the punishment by blindness from birth of a man of the time, Jesus did not controvert the doctrine, as he would have done did he see in his wisdom as Son of God that it was pernicious. But at another time he asserted that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elias the ancient prophet. This cannot be wiped out of the books, and is a doctrine as firmly fixed in Christianity, though just now out of favor, as is any other. The paper by Prof. Landsberg shows you what Origen, one of the greatest of the Christian Fathers, taught on preëxistence of souls. This theory naturally suggests reincarnation on this earth, for it is more natural to suppose the soul's wanderings to be here until all that life can give has been gained, rather than that the soul should wander among other planets or simply fall to this abruptly, to be as suddenly raised up to heaven or thrown down to hell.

The next great doctrine is Karma. This is the religion of salvation by works as opposed to faith devoid of works. It is one of the prime doctrines of Jesus. By "by their works ye shall know them," he must have meant that faith without works is dead. The meaning of Karma literally is "works," and the Hindus apply it not only to the operations of nature and of the great laws of nature in connection with man's reward and punishment, but also to all the different works that man can perform. St. James insists on the religion of works. He says that true religion is to visit the fatherless and the widows and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. St. Matthew says we shall be judged for every act, word, and thought. This alone is possible under the doctrine of Karma. The command of Jesus to refrain from judgment or we should ourselves be judged is a plain statement of Karma, as is, too, the rest of


the verse saying that what we mete out shall be given back to us. St. Paul, following this, distinctly states the doctrine thus: "Brethren, be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap." The word "whatsoever" includes every act and thought, and permits no escape from the consequences of any act. A clearer statement of the law of Karma as applied to daily life could hardly be made. Again, going to Revelations, the last words in the Christian book, we read all through it that the last judgment proceeds on the works―in other words, on the Karma―of men. It distinctly asserts that in the vision, as well as in the messages to the Churches, judgment passes for works.

We therefore must conclude that the religion of Jesus is in complete accord with the chief doctrines of Theosophy; it is fair to assume that even the most recondite of theosophical theories would not have been opposed by him. Our discussion must have led us to the conclusion that the religion of Karma, the practise of good works, is that in which the religion of Jesus agrees with Theosophy, and that alone thereby will arrive the longed-for day when the great ideal of Universal Brotherhood will be realized, and will furnish the common ground on which all faiths may stand and from which every nation may work for the good and the perfection of the human family.

Paper read before
Aryan (N.Y.) T.S., 1894William Q. Judge


I HAVE been asked to say a few more words on the subject of Theosophy in the Christian Bible; that is, I have been asked to show what Theosophical doctrines can be found in the Christian books.1

One of the Theosophical doctrines is the doctrine of Karma; that is, exact justice ruling in the spiritual as well as in the physical; the exact carrying out of effect from cause in the spiritual nature of man, the moral nature as well as in the physical world. That is, that every man is ruled in his life, not by a vengeful and partial God, but by justice. This life is just; whether one is miserable or happy, whether he is poor or rich, it is just. Where is this doctrine found in the Christian Bible, this doctrine that as ye have sown so shall ye reap? That is, having lived before in this world you have made causes which bring about today the life you lead now, which have made the characteristics that you have, which made you what you are now, and have plunged you into a living hell or into a happy heaven today. We say this doctrine has not of late been taught in Christianity; but it is in the books of the Christians and it ought to have been taught, it would have been profitable had it been expounded. Now, where can it be found?

Does not Jesus say, among other things, you should not judge others? Why? Because if you do you will be judged yourself. What you mete out to others will be meted out to

1 An address made by Wm. Q. Judge at the Parliament of Religions, World's Fair of 1893, Chicago, Illinois.


you. That is, what men do to others will be done to themselves. Where and when is this to be done? When is the measure to be meted out if not in this life or some other? St. Paul says: "Brethren, be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." Do not these quotations prove that in St. Paul and in the words of Jesus can be found this doctrine of Karma: that as you sow so shall you reap? That your circumstances now are the result of your own acts? This is the doctrine which is the most prominent in the Theosophical field. I call it Theosophical, not because the members teach it, nor from its presence in our literature, but because it is found in the religion of every nation; that is why it is Theosophical. But you have been taught that you must be good or you will be punished. In the West you are told you will be rewarded and punished in this life and in the next. But men are not punished in this life. Today thousands of men live lives of luxury, strife, and crime, but they are not punished here, and, according to the teachings of Christianity, they stand a pretty good chance of escaping punishment hereafter if they only believe. We see that many are not rewarded who are good, but are often born into misery.

The doctrine of reincarnation is taught in the Christian Bible, that is, that you will be born over and over again in this world according to your destiny, to follow the effects of causes you yourself have put in motion in whatever life. Where is that found? In the mouth of Jesus; and certainly if Jesus, the founder of Christianity, has stated this, has any man or any body of men, has any person any right to say that it is not true? I deny their right, and I say that Christianity has been deprived by theologians of a doctrine which Jesus himself declared, when reincarnation is taken away from it. We say that the doctrine is in the Gospels. One day they brought to Jesus a man who was born blind and asked him why was this man born blind; was it for some sin he had committed or those his parents committed? Now, how could a man be born blind for a sin he had himself committed unless he had lived before that time to commit it? This was a doc-


trine believed in at that day. The Jews believed it and Jesus was a Jew. He did not deny the doctrine on that occasion. He only said, "Not for that reason." If the doctrine were wrong, certainly Jesus, as the Son of God, would not only have denied it, but he would have said, "The doctrine you enunciate is false." He said nothing of the kind. At another time he himself declared the doctrine, and he asked his disciples, "Whom do men think that I am?", meaning and referring to what was believed at that time, that great sages were born over and over again for the enlightenment of mankind. They call them Avatars in the East. They had an idea great sages and prophets would come back. Will you tell me how such men then could be reborn at all unless under natural law and unless such law governs every man? So Jesus, referring to this idea, said to his disciples: "Whom do men think that I am?" And they said: "Some men think that you are Elias, who was for to come." St. John had been killed just then by the ruler of Judea, and Jesus said to them that Elias had already come back in the person of John and the rulers had killed him, not knowing he was a reincarnation of Elias. So in one case he did not deny and in the other he explicitly asserted the doctrine. And if we take this view we know what he meant when he said to Nicodemus that a man must be born again. He meant not only the regeneration of the soul, but reborn into the body again; that is, that man is a soul who comes into a house to live life after life, and he must go from house to house until he has learned the whole architecture of human life and is able to build a perfect house. In Revelations, the last word of all the books, we find the great speaker writing that he heard the voice of God saying to him that him who overcometh the flesh and the devil, the world and sin, "I shall make a pillar in the house of my Father and he shall go out no more." Does not that mean he had gone out before? The old fathers in the early ages of Christianity taught that if we triumphed over the flesh and the devil, the world and sin, God would make each one a pillar in the house of his father and he would not have to go out again. That is the doctrine of reincarnation.


Then if you will look at the history of the Christian Church you find that the doctrine was taught for five hundred years, and not until the Council of Constantinople was it rejected. At that time it was turned out by ignorant monks, and since then it has not been taught by the teachers, but it is in the Christian books, and to these Christian books we appeal. I say these very doctrines are in many other places found there. Another doctrine is that man is not merely a body, but is a composite being of many divisions. St. Paul taught we have a spiritual body as well as a material body, that we are a spiritual body and a physical body and spirit. That will bring in every one of the seven principles of the Theosophical category. So we say, all through the Christian books, in the Old Testament and in the New, we may find the great doctrines of Theosophy, by which I mean the great universal ideas of unity, of universal brotherhood, of strict justice and no favoritism, of reincarnation, and of the composite nature of man, which permeate every religion as well as the books of the Christians, both old and new.


JACOB Boehme (or as some say Behmen) was a German mystic and spiritualist who began to write in the 17th century. In his works he inserted a picture of an angel blowing a trumpet, from which issued these words: "To all Christians, Jews, Turks and Heathens, to all the nations of the earth this Trumpet sounds for the last time." In truth it was a curious emblem, but he, the author, was a mystic, and as all experience shows, the path of the mystic is a strange one. It is, as Job says, a path which the "vulture knoweth not." Even as a bird cleaves the eternal ether, so the mystic advances on a path nor ordinarily manifest, a way which must be followed with care, because like the Great Light, which flashes forth and leaves only traces when it returns again to its centre, only indications are left for those who come after seeking the same spiritual wisdom. Yet by these "traces," for such they are called in the Kabbala, the way can be discerned, and the truth discovered.

Boehme was poor, of common birth, and totally devoid of ordinary education. He was only a shoemaker. Yet from the mind and out of the mouth of this unlettered man came mighty truths.

It would be idle to inquire into the complications of Karma which condemned him to such a life as his appeared to be. It must have been extremely curious, because though he had grasped the truth and was able to appreciate it, yet at the same time he could not give it out in its perfect form. But he performed his work, and there can be no manner of doubt


about his succeeding incarnation. As Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita, he has been already or will shortly be "born into a family of wise devotees"; and thence "he will attain the highest walk."

His life and writings furnish another proof that the great wisdom-religion―the Secret Doctrine―has never been left without a witness. Born a Christian, he nevertheless saw the esoteric truth lying under the moss and crust of centuries, and from the Christian Bible extracted for his purblind fellows those pearls which they refused to accept. But he did not get his knowledge from the Christian Scriptures only. Before his internal eye the panorama of real knowledge passed. His interior vision being open he could see the things he had learned in a former life, and at first not knowing what they were was stimulated by them to construe his only spiritual books in the esoteric fashion. His brain took cognizance of the Book before him, but his spirit aided by his past, and perchance by the living guardians of the shining lamp of truth, could not but read them aright.

His work was called "The Dawning of the Eternal Day." In this he endeavors to outline the great philosophy. He narrates the circumstances and reasons for the angelic creation, the fall of its chief three hierarchies, and the awful effects which thereupon fell upon Eternal Nature. Mark this, not upon man―for he was not yet―but upon the eternal Nature, that is BRAHM. Then he says that these effects came about by reason of the unbalancing of the seven equipoised powers of forces of the Eternal Nature or Brahm. That is to say, that so long as the seven principles of Brahm were in perfect poise, there was no corporeal or manifested universe. So in the Bhagavad-Gita we find that Krishna tells Arjuna that "after the lapse of a thousand ages (or Night of Brahm) all objects of developed matter come forth from the non-developed principle. At the approach of that day they emanate spontaneously." (Bhagavad-Gita, Chap. 8. ) Such is the teaching of the Secret Doctrine.

And again Boehme shows the duality of the Supreme Soul.


For he says in his work "Psychologia Vera cum Supplemento" that these two eternal principles of positive and negative, the yea and the nay of the outspeaking Supreme One, together constitute eternal nature,―not the dark world alone; which is termed the "root of nature,―" the two being as it were combined in perfect indissoluble union.

This is nothing else but Purush and Prakriti, or taken together, what is referred to in the Bhagavad-Gita where it is said: "But there is another invisible, eternal existence, superior to this visible one, which does not perish when all things perish. It is called invisible and indivisible. This is my Supreme Abode."

Clearly the Supreme Abode could never be in Purush alone, nor in Prakriti alone, but in both when indissolubly united.

This scheme is adhered to all through this great philosopher's works, no matter whether he is speaking of the great Universe or macrocosm, or of its antitype in man or microcosm. In "De Tribus Principiis" he treats of the three principles or worlds of Nature, describing its eternal birth, its seven properties, and the two co-eternal principles; and furthermore in "De Triplici Vita Hominis" he gives the three-fold life of man from which the seven is again deduced.

In "De Electione Gratia" he goes into a subject that often proves a stumbling block to many, and that is the inevitableness of evil as well as of good. From this it is easy to pass to a contemplation of one of the difficult points in occultism as shown in the Secret Doctrine, that nothing is evil, and that even if we admit evil or wickedness in man, it is of the nature of the quality or guna, which in the Bhagavad-Gita is denominated raja―foulness or bad action. Even this is better than the indifferent action that only leads to death. Even from wickedness may and does come forth spiritual life, but from indifferent action comes only darkness, and finally death.

Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita, Chap. IV: "There are three kinds of action: first, that which is of the nature of


Satyam, or true action; second, that which is of the nature of Raja, or bad action; third, that which is of the nature of Tamas, or indifferent action." He then says: "Although thou wert the greatest of all offenders, thou shalt be able to cross the gulf of sin in the bark of spiritual wisdom"; and a little farther on "The ignorant and man without faith, whose spirit is full of doubt, is lost and cannot enjoy either world." And in another chapter in describing Himself, he says that he is not only the Buddha, but also is the most evil of mankind or the Asura.

This is one of the most mystical parts of the whole secret doctrine. While Boehme has touched on it sufficiently to show that he had a memory of it, he did not go into the most occult details. It has to be remembered that the Bhagavad-Gita, and many other books treating on the Secret Doctrine, must be regarded from seven points of view; and that imperfect man is not able to look at it from the centre, which would give the whole seven points at once.

Boehme wrote about thirty different treatise, all of them devoted to great subjects, portions of the Secret Doctrine.

Curiously enough the first treated of the "Dawn of the Eternal Day," and the second was devoted to an elucidation of "The Three Principles of Man." In the latter is really to be found a sevenfold classification similar to that which Mr. Sinnett propounded in "Esoteric Buddhism."

He held that the greatest obstacle in the path of man is the astral or elementary power, which engenders and sustain this world.

Then he talks of "tinctures," which we may call principles. According to him there are two principles ones, the watery, and the igneous. These ought to be united in Man; and they ardently seek each other continually, in order to be identified with Sophia or Divine Wisdom. Many Theosophists will see in this a clue not only to the two principles―or tinctures―which ought to be united man, but also to a law which obtains in many of the phenomena of magic. But even if I were able, I should not speak on this more clearly.


For many inquirers the greatest interest in these works will be found in his hypothesis as to the birth of the material Universe. On the evolution of man from spirit into matter he has much more than I could hope to glance at. In nearly all of it he was outlining and illustrating the Secret Doctrine. The books indicated are well worthy of study not only by Western but also by Eastern metaphysicians.

Let us add a few sentences to support this hypothesis from Count Saint Martin, who was a devoted student of these works.

"Jacob Boehme took for granted the existence of an Universal Principle; he was persuaded that everything is connected in the immense chain of truths, and that the Eternal Nature reposed on seven principles or bases, which he sometimes calls powers, forms, spiritual wheels, sources, and fountains, and that those seven bases exist also in this disordered material nature, under constraint. His nomenclature, adopted for these fundamental relations, ran thus: The first astringency, the second gall or bitterness, the third anguish, the fourth fire, the fifth light, the sixth sound, and the seventh he called BEING or the thing itself."

The reader may have begun to think the author did not rightly comprehend the first six but his definition of the seventh shows he was right throughout, and we may conclude the real meanings are concealed under these names.

"The third principle, anguish, attenuates the astringent one, turns it into water, and allows a passage to fire, which was shut up in the astringent principle."

There are in this many suggestions and a pursuit of them will repay the student.

"Now the Divine Sophia caused a new order to take birth in the centre of our system, and there burned our sun; from that do come forth all kinds of qualities, forms and powers. This centre is the Separator." It is well known that from the sun was taken by the ancients all kinds of power; and if we


mistake not, the Hindus claim that when the Fathers enter into Para-Nirvana, their accumulated goodness pours itself out on the world through the "Door of the Sun."

The Bhagavad-Gita says, that the Lord of all dwells in the region of the heart, and again that this Lord is also the Sun of the world.

"The earth is a condensation of the seven primordial principles, and by the withdrawal of eternal light this became a dark valley." It is taught in the East, that this world is a valley and that we are in it, our bodies reaching to the moon, being condensed to hardness at the point where we are on the earth thus becoming visible to the eye of man. There is a mystery in this statement, but not such an one as cannot be unravelled.

Boehme proceeds: "When the light mastered the fire at the place of the sun, the terrible shock of the battle engendered an igneous eruption by which there shot forth from the sun a stormy and frightful flash of fire―Mars. Taken captive by light it assumed a place, and there it struggles furiously, a pricking goad, whose office is to agitate all nature, producing reaction. It is the gall of nature. The gracious, amiable Light, having enchained unerupted Mars, proceeded by its own power to the bottom or end of the rigidity of Nature, when unable to proceed further it stopped, and became corporeal; remaining there it warms that place, and although a valet in Nature, it is the source of sweetness and the moderator of Mars.

"Saturn does not originate from the sun, but was produced from the severe astringent anguish of the whole body of this Universe. Above Jupiter the sun could not mitigate the horror, and out of that arose Saturn, who is the opposite of meekness, and who produces whatever of rigidity there is in creatures, including bones, and what in moral nature corresponds thereto." (This is all the highest astrology, from one who had no knowledge of it.) "As in the Sun is the heart of life, so by Saturn commenceth all corporeal nature. Thus in these two resides the power of the whole universal body, and without


their power there could be no creation nor any corporification.

"Venus originates in effluvia from the Sun. She lights the unctuosity of the water of the Universe, penetrates hardness, and enkindles love."

"Mercury is the chief worker in the planetary wheel; he is sound, and wakes up the germs in everything. His origin, the triumph of Light over Astringency (in which sound was shut up silent), set free the sound by the attenuation of the astringent power."

It is certain that if this peculiar statement regarding Mercury is understood, the student will have gained a high point of knowledge. A seductive bait is here held out to those striving disciples who so earnestly desire to hold converse with the elemental world. But there is no danger, for all the avenues are very secret and only the pure can prevail in the preliminary steps.

Boehme says again: "The Mercury is impregnated and fed continually by the solar substance; that in it is found the knowledge of what was in the order above, before Light had penetrated to the solar centre."

As to the Moon, it is curious to note that he says, "she was produced from the sun itself, at the time of his becoming material, and that the moon is his spouse." Students of the story of Adam being made to sleep after his creation and before coats of skin were given, when Eve was produced from his side, will find in this a strong hint.

The above is not by any means a complete statement of Boehme's system. In order to do justice to it, a full analysis of all his works should be undertaken. However, it is sufficient if thoughtful minds who have not read Boehme, shall turn to him after reading this, or if but one earnest reader of his works, or seeker after wisdom, shall receive even a hint that may lead to a clearing up of doubts, or to the acquisition of one new idea. Count Saint Martin continually read him; and


the merest glance at the "Theosophic Correspondence" or, "Man―His Nature, &.," of Saint Martin will show that from that study he learned much. How much more then will the Western mind be aided by the light shed on both by the lamp of Theosophical teachings.

"Let the desire of the pious be fulfilled."

Theosophist, April, 1886William Q. Judge

Japanese Characters


THERE are twelve principal Buddhist sects in Japan. These are: Ku-Sha-Shiu, Jo-Jitsu-Shiu, Ris-Shiu, Ho-so-Shiu, San Ron-Shiu, Ke-Gon-Shiu, Ten-Dai-Shiu, Shin-Gon-Shiu, Jo-Do-Shiu, Zen-Shiu, Shin-Shiu, and Nichi-Ren-Shiu. It is of a tenet of the Shin-Shiu that I propose to speak. The student can learn much of the others by consulting the works of Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio, M.A., and other authorities.

The last four of those mentioned may be called the modern ones. Gen-Ku founded the Jo-Do in 1174 A.D.; the Zen-Shiu was started by Ei-Sai in 1191 A.D.; the Shin-Shiu was founded in 1224 A.D. by Shin-Ran; and in 1253 A.D., Nichi-Ren established that one named for him. This last is more frequently called by the founder's name because, although he adopted what is called the Saddharmapundarika as the principal Sutra of it, he altered the substance of the doctrine. For that reason it is called, paraphrastically, "Nichi-Ren's Saddharmapundarika sect."

The essential difference between the Shin-Shiu and the others may be seen by placing its doctrine and that of the Zen-Shiu side by side. In the latter the disciple is to see the nature of Buddha by his own thought, free from the influence of the eighty-four thousand different doctrines, while the Shin-Shiu teaches that we attain salvation "by the power of another," who is Amita Buddha.

The Zen-Shiu is said to have originated from the incident,


well known to Buddhists, of Gotama Buddha's taking from the heavenly king a flower of golden color and holding it in his hand in silence. The disciples could not understand the meaning of this, except Mahakasyapa, who, although he knew, only smiled and remained also silent. Thereupon Buddha said to him, "I have the wonderful thought of Nirvana." This was called "the doctrine of thought transmitted by thought." Ananda received it from Kasyapa, and so on down a long list of patriarchs in the church. The twenty-eighth patriarch, Bodhidharma, a king's son, crossed over into China. In that country he attempted to teach the Emperor the secret of the doctrine, but the pupil could not understand it, and Bodhidharma entered a monastery where he pursued the practice of sitting in meditation gazing at a wall for nine years, after which he gained disciples. He was called "the wall-gazing Brahmana." A later devotee in 729 A.D. came from China to Japan and established a form of the doctrine of Zen-Shiu. In this school, as distinguished from the Shin-Shiu, the disciple exercises his own thought independent of doctrine, while in the latter a doctrine is relied upon. The words of the Indian poem Bhagavad-Gita may be profitably remembered here, where it says that "he who pursues the unmanifested path has a more difficult task [than any other] to perform."1

The other sects, except the Shin-Shiu, have various doctrines for the attainment of the end in view, but the followers of the Shin-Shiu declare that all these are "expedients." They do not exclude the Zen-Shiu, although it would appear perhaps to the aggressive mind of the Englishman or American that to tell a man he can attain Nirvana by his own power is not laying a mere expedient before him.

It is because of these doctrines of expediency in other sects that the Shin-Shiu call themselves "the True Sect of Buddhists."

The doctrine of the sect is also called by them "the Doctrine of the Pure Land." The pure land referred to is the Land of Amida Buddha [Amitabha]: the object is to be born into that land, that is, to obtain salvation. It has been other –

1 See Bhagavad-Gita.―[Ed.]


wise stated in this manner:

"Among those who follow the doctrine of the Pure Land, there are several different systems of teaching, which are as follows:―'Some say that we should practise various good works, bring our stock of merits to maturity, and be born in the Pure Land. Others say that we should repeat only the name of Amitabha Buddha in order to be born in his Pure Land, by the merit produced from such repetition.' These doctrines are all considered as yet the temporary expedients. To rely upon the power of the original prayer of Amitabha Buddha with the whole heart and give up all idea of Ji-Riki or 'self-power' is called the truth. This truth is the doctrine of this sect." 2

The eighteenth of the forty-eight prayers of Amita Buddha is the prayer referred to. It is: "If any of living beings of the ten regions who have believed in me with true thoughts and desire to be born in my country, and have even to ten times repeated the thought of my name, should not be born there, then may I not obtain the perfect knowledge." This prayer was made by him because of his great desire to deliver all beings from suffering. It was a prayer which he first uttered long before he himself obtained salvation, but he continued for ages after that to work to the end that he might be able to make the prayer of force and value to any one who should use it. It follows, of course, that he accomplished his desire, and the Shin-Shiu sect accordingly claims that this prayer or vow has a peculiar effect of its own, and has strength to enable whoever uses it to reach salvation.

The claims made for this prayer are in accordance with certain views that are held in the East about the force that resides in the vows of a wise or great saint. They are said to have an actual dynamic effect upon the minds and hearts of all persons who shall use them, even after the saint has died. It is claimed that the power has to do with magnetism. And it is said by the followers of Shin-Shiu that, when one begins to repeat and rely upon the prayer of Amita Buddha, he at

2 Japanese Buddhist Sects, by Bunyiu Nanjio.


once connects himself with the whole body of real believers, and as well with the power of Amita himself.

In its essence the doctrine is one of salvation by faith, but at the same time the sect does not claim―as the Christian does for his dogma―that there is no other way to be saved. They admit that a person may be saved "by his own power"―if he has the requisite strength to hold out―, but they think that in general men have not the power to resist evil for a time sufficient to permit the accomplishment of the result; and they assert that besides the lack of strength there will be doubt, for, "Faith by one's own power cannot afford rest to the heart. It is said, 'Shall I surely attain salvation or shall I not?' and thus what is called faith is in reality doubt," but "Faith by the power of another affords rest to the heart. It is said―: 'I am born by the power of that vow; I shall certainly attain salvation.' There is not the smallest doubt in the heart." Another Sutra says: "Those who follow the method of 'self power' believe in many other Buddhas; those who follow the method of 'another's power' believe only in the one Buddha, as a faithful servant does not serve two masters."

In a compilation made by direction of the Eastern Hongwanji of Japan it is said "The appellations 'true' and 'popular' are an important matter. Our sect terms the attaining of the rest of the heart the True System; the observation of the relations of life the Popular System. Our sect has granted the permission to marry. Hence the five relations of life necessarily exist. Where the five relations of life exist, the duties involved in them must be observed. This is termed 'the popular system.'

"It is said in the Sutra: 'The living beings in the ten regions, be they householders or houseless.' . . . Shall the holy path be different for them? Although the sins of the unenlightened be many, if these are contrasted with the power of the vow they are not as the millet seed to the ocean The sins of the unenlightened are heavy; if you precipitate them on the three worlds they inevitably sink; but if you place them on the ship of the vow they assuredly become light. The merit of living beings is full of leaks. Mida's land of reward has no


leaks. With the merit which is full of leaks you cannot be born into the land where there are no leaks."

From a later part of the same compilation:―"Our Founder said: 'brothers within the four seas.' Faith by the power of another proceeds from Mida. Thus Mida is father and mother; all within the four seas are brothers. The Chinese call foreigners barbarians; foreigners call China uncivilized. Both, we consider, are wrong. Those who do not observe the relations of life are the barbarians, without distinction of 'home' or 'foreign.' Throughout all that the heaven covers, wherever sun and moon shine, what is there that we shall call barbarian or uncivilized? When the heart is wide as heaven and earth, the discourse clear as sun and moon, then first is attained the equitable and just. Between heaven and earth there is no one to be disassociated, no spot not to be reached. The kindly relations of intercourse make the friend; two persons the same mind; their spirit is as disseparated gold. One country the same mind; as a golden bowl without defect. All countries the same mind; then first is attained the perfect equitability. The foundation of the same mind is the calling to remembrance of the one Buddha." . . .

"Zendo has said: 'We are truly like this: unenlightened we are subject to the evil of birth and death; for long Kalpas we revolve, sinking and floating in the sea of existence; there seems no cause of escape.' . . . But He, Amida Buddha, long kalpas ago putting forth a heart of great compassion, planning through five kalpas, having accomplished the long kalpas, perfected his vow."

Hence we find the sect without spells or supplications for the avoiding of trouble. They hold that the trouble and misery of our life are due to causes originated either in long past existence or in the present incarnation. These last are to be carefully avoided, and the "popular system" gives the various rules to follow. But the causes that lie rooted in prior incarnations cannot be provided for in any way. This stored-up Karma it is useless to regret or try to avoid. It will have its course. But we must submit cheerfully, knowing that, by rely-


ing on the power of Buddha's sublime vow and by joining right practice to it, in time all Karma, good and bad, will be exhausted. Hence there are no spells, talismans, or supplications used by the Shin-Shiu. All its followers must follow and imitate the Buddha in his great love and compassion, and they hold that, if this were the practice in every part of the world, harmony would prevail and prosperity come to all with peace and joy.

Path, September, 1888Eusebio Urban


THE conversion to the religion of the Prophet Mohammed of Alexander Russell Webb, F.T.S., and his establishing in New York a paper devoted to Islamism, together with his lectures on the subject, have caused a great deal of attention to be given to Mohammedanism. Bro. Webb is still a member of the Society, with an interest in its progress, and this is another illustration of the broadness of our platform. But he says that it has surprised him to find the members in general paying slight regard to the life of the Prophet, his sayings and his religion, as one of our objects calls for the study of all religions. In India he found many followers of the Prophet in our Branches, and among them much knowledge of formerly so-called esoteric doctrines, which are common to all religions. That such would be the case must have long ago been evident to those who have read the admirable articles which were printed some years ago in the PATH upon Sufi poetry, as the Sufis really preserve the inner doctrines of Islam. But it is natural that the religion of Mohammed has not received from Western people very great consideration. They judge it in the mass, and not from some of its teachings. The West has developed its social system and its religious belief on its own lines, and having seen that many of the followers of the Prophet are polygamists, which is contrary to Western notions, the entire Islamic system has been condemned on that ground, both in a social and religious sense.

The best Mohammedans say that the Prophet did not teach polygamy, but only permitted it in case a man could treat


many wives in exactly the same way in every respect that he could one. Although over against this the Prophet himself had but one wife, and was in fact a celibate, it was quite natural that his followers should liberally construe what he said on the subject and take unto themselves as many wives as their means permitted. This is human nature, and would probably be the result today in the West if our people placed reliance on the words of a Teacher who had made a similar statement.

The words of the Koran upon the subject of polygamy, as given by Mr. Webb, are:

And if ye are apprehensive that ye shall not deal fairly with orphans, then of other women who seem good in your eyes, marry but two, or three, or four; if ye still fear that ye shall not act equitably, then one only.―Koran, Sura IV, verse 3.

The next prominent conception held by Western people about the Mohammedans is that they have forced an acceptance of their doctrines. We have such stories as that they carried sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, compelling people to accept the book under threat of the sword; that they burned books containing matter other than that in the Koran, on the ground that if it was in the Koran the books were unnecessary, and if it was not in the Koran the books were wrong and should be burned. But the disciples of the Prophet assert that he never taught any such thing, and point to much learning on the part of the Mohammedans in the past. Doubtless these disciples are right, but we know that many Mohammedans tried to coerce people, and that there is some foundation for the story in respect to destruction of that which was not found in the Koran. For these reasons the West has been opposed to Islamism without really knowing much about it. The religion has been judged by the proceedings of its followers. Similar charges might be made against Christian peoples, who notoriously both individually and as nations are in the habit of going directly contrary to the commands of their Founder.

A student of these subjects, then, comes to consider lastly the claims of Islamism on philosophical and religious grounds,


and naturally asks the question whether it has any better philosophy than any other religion, and if its religion is supported by a correct philosophy. If it be found that the truths given out by the Prophet were known and written down before his time, then why should the Western student turn to the later religion, the product of a more or less undeveloped people, when he may go to the original from which it undoubtedly came? And if in that original we can find broader and more definite expositions of cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis, we may very properly use Islamism to illustrate the Theosophic truism that one single truth is the basis upon which all religions stand, but we are not necessarily obliged to adopt it to the exclusion of anything else.

Islamism seems to many to exact a belief in a God, and the conception of a God demands that that being shall be separate from those who believe in him. This view does not appeal to many Western Theosophists, because they assert that there can be no God different or separate from man. In the Rig Veda of the Brahmans there are as grand, and some think grander, conceptions of God and nature, as can be found in any Islamic book. If the two are equal in this regard, then the Rig Veda, being admittedly the elder, must have the first place by reason of age; but if the Rig Veda and the philosophy growing out of it are broader and grander than the other, then for that reason it must be more acceptable.

The five fundamental precepts of Islam are given in the Encyclopædia Britannica, as follows:

First, Confession of the Unity of God; second, stated prayer; third, almsgiving; fourth, the fast of Ramadan; fifth, observance of the festival of Mecca.

In the latest English publication on the subject, Mr. Webb says:

Orthodox Mohammedanism may be divided into six heads: First, faith in God, the one God, the creator of all things, who always was and ever will be, the single, immutable, omniscient, omnipotent, all-merciful, eternal God; second, faith in angels, ethereal beings perfect in form and radiant in beauty, without sex, free from all gross or sensual passion and the appetites


and infirmities of all frail humanity; third, belief in the Koran as a book of Divine revelation, given at various times to Mohammed by God or through the Angel Gabriel; fourth, belief in God's prophets, the most preeminent of whom were Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed; fifth, belief in the resurrection and final judgment, when all mankind shall appear before God, who will reward or punish them according to the deeds they have done on earth; sixth, belief in predestination, or the inability of man to avoid, by any act of his own, the destiny irrevocably predetermined by God and written down in the eternal book previous to the creation of the world.

The religion of the Prophet contains, in common with all other religions, a secret doctrine which is the same as that found in those differently named. As referred to above, the Sufis taught a very high kind of mysticism, but not any higher than that of the Hindus, nor any different from the mysticism of the Christians, both of early and later times. They taught union with God; so do the Hindu and the Christian. They spoke of their wife and their mistress and their concubines or houris; so do mediaeval alchemists, and many of the Indian Yogis speak in a similar strain; so that in whatever direction we turn it is found that there is no substantial difference between Islamism and any other religion except in respect to age, and it is really the youngest of all, excepting perhaps the later Christian development found among the Mormons of America or Latter-day Saints. In fact, some Western Theosophists have said that it would be just as well to accept Mormonism as Islamism, since the teachings are identical and the practices are also. The Mormons say that polygamy is not taught, but they practice it; they have their mysticism, their prophecy, their various kinds of frenzy, and among them are many extraordinary examples of prevision, notably with Brigham Young, the second prophet.

Americans might be inclined, if they were about to make a change, to accept their own natural product in preference to an Arabian one. Certainly in regard to morality, honesty, thrift, temperance, and such virtues, the Mormons stand as well as the followers of the Prophet Mohammed. But as we know little about true Islamism, a careful consideration of it


will no doubt add to our knowledge and broaden our conceptions, since it must end in our seeing once more that none of the religions of the day are true ones, but that a single body of truth underlying them all must be the religion of the future.

Path, July, 1893Hadji Erinn



THE dream state is common to all people. Some persons say they never dream, but upon examination it will be found they have had one or two dreams and that they meant only to say their dreams were few. It is doubtful whether the person exists who never has had a dream. But it is said that dreams are not of importance; that they are due to blood pressure, or to indigestion, or to disease, or to various causes. They are supposed to be unimportant because, looking at them from the utilitarian view-point, no great use is seen to follow. Yet there are many who always make use of their dreams, and history, both secular and religious, is not without records of benefit, of warning, of instruction from the dream. The well-known case of Pharaoh's dream of lean and fat kine which enabled Joseph as interpreter to foresee and provide against a famine represents a class of dream not at all uncommon. But the utilitarian view is only one of many.

Dreams show conclusively that although the body and brain are asleep - for sleep begins primarily in the brain and is governed by it―there is still active a recollector and perceiver who watches the introspective experience of dreaming. Sorrow, joy, fear, anger, ambition, love, hate, and all possible emotions are felt and perceived in dreams. The utility of this on the waking plane has nothing to do with the fact of perception. Time all is measured therein, not according to solar division but in respect to the effect produced upon the dreamer. And as the counting of this time is done at a vastly quicker


rate than is possible for the brain, it follows that some person is counting. In all these dreams there is a recollection of the events perceived, and the memory of it is carried into the waking state. Reason and all the powers of intelligent waking man are used in dreams; and as emotion, reasoning, perception, and memory are all found to be even more active in dreams than in waking life, it must follow that the Hidden Self is the one who has and does all this.

The fanciful portion of dreams does not invalidate the position. Fancy is not peculiar to dreaming; it is also present in waking consciousness. In many people fancy is quite as usual and vivid as with any dreamer. And we know that children have a strong development of fancy. Its presence in dream simply means that the thinker, being liberated temporarily from the body and the set forms or grooves of the brain, expands that ordinary faculty. But passing beyond fancy we have the fact that dreams have prophecy of events not yet come. This could not be unless there exists the inner Hidden Self who sees plainly the future and the past in an ever present.


Waking clairvoyance cannot now be denied. Students of Theosophy know it to be a faculty of man, and in America its prevalence is such as to call for no great proof. There is the clairvoyance of events past, of those to come, and of those taking place.

To perceive events that have taken place in which the clairvoyant had no part nor was informed about, means that some other instrument than the brain is used. This must be the Hidden Self. Seeing and reporting events that subsequently transpire gives the same conclusion. If the brain is the mind, it must have had a part in a past event which it now reports, either as actor or as hearer from another who was present, but as in the cases cited it had no such connection as actor, then it follows that it has received the report from some other perceiver. This other one is the Hidden Self, because the true clairvoyant case excludes any report by an eye-witness.


Then again, when the clairvoyant is dealing with an event presently proceeding at a distance, it is necessary that a perceiver who recollects must be present in order to make report. For the brain and its organs of sight and hearing are too far off. But as the clairvoyant does report correctly what is going on, it is the other Hidden Self who sees the event, bridges the gap between it and the brain, and impresses the picture upon the bodily organs.


If recollection is the basis for the feeling of identity continuous throughout life, and if brain is the only instrument for perception, then there is an inexplicable series of gaps to be accounted for or bridged over, but admitting the Hidden Self no gaps exist.

We are born feeling that we are ourself, without a name, but using a name for convenience later on. We reply to challenge by saying "It is I" - the name following only for convenience to the other person. This personal identity remains although we fall asleep each night and thus far become unconscious. And we know that even when a long period is blotted out of memory by fall, blow, or other accidental injury, the same feeling of identity crosses that gap and continues the same identical "I" to where memory again acts. And although years of life with all their multiplicity of events and experience have passed, leaving but a small amount of recollection, we yet know ourselves as that unnamed person who came to life so many years before. We do not remember our birth nor our naming, and if we are but a bundle of material experience, a mere product of brain and recollection, then we should have no identity but constant confusion. The contrary being the case, and continuous personal identity being felt and perceived, the inevitable conclusion is that we are the Hidden Self and that Self is above and beyond both body and brain.

Path, August, 1894William Q. Judge


TO many it seems puzzling that we do not remember the experiences of the Higher Self in sleep. But as long as we ask "Why does not the lower self remember these experiences," we shall never have an answer. There is a contradiction in the question, because the lower self, never having had the experiences it is required to remember, could not at any time recollect them.

When sleep comes on, the engine and instrument of the lower personality is stopped, and can do nothing but what may be called automatic acts. The brain is not in use, and hence no consciousness exists for it until the waking moment returns. The ego, when thus released from the physical chains, free from its hard daily task of living with and working through the bodily organs, proceeds to enjoy the experiences of the plane of existence which is peculiarly its own.

On that plane it uses a method and processes of thought, and perceives the ideas appropriate to it through organs different from those of the body. All that it sees and hears (if we may use those terms) appears reversed from our plane. The language, so to say, is a foreign one even to the inner language used when awake. So, upon reassuming life in the body, all that it has to tell its lower companion must be spoken in a strange tongue, and for the body that is an obstruction to comprehension. We hear the words, but only now and then obtain flashes of their meaning. It is something like the English-speaking person who knows a few foreign words entering a foreign town and there being only able to grasp those few terms as he hears them among the multitude of other words and sentences which he does not understand.

What we have to do, then, is to learn the language of the Ego, so that we shall not fail to make a proper translation to ourselves. For at all times the language of the plane through which the Ego nightly floats is a foreign one to the brain we use, and has to be always translated for use by the brain. If


the interpretation is incorrect, the experience of the Ego will never be made complete to the lower man.

But it may be asked if there is an actual language for the Ego, having its sound and corresponding signs. Evidently not; for, if there were, there would have been made a record of it during all those countless years that sincere students have been studying themselves. It is not a language in the ordinary sense. It is more nearly described as a communication of ideas and experience by means of pictures. So with it a sound may be pictured as a color or a figure, and an odor as a vibrating line; an historical event may be not only shown as a picture, but also as a light or a shadow, or as a sickening smell or delightful incense; the vast mineral world may not only exhibit its planes and angles and colors, but also its vibrations and lights. Or, again, the ego may have reduced its perceptions of size and distance for its own purposes, and, having the mental capacity for the time of the ant, it may report to the bodily organs a small hole as an abyss, or the grass of the field as a gigantic forest. These are adduced by way of example, and are not to be taken as hard and fast lines of description.

Upon awakening, a great hindrance is found in our own daily life and terms of speech and thought to the right translation of these experiences, and the only way in which we can use them with full benefit is by making ourselves porous, so to speak, to the influences from the higher self, and by living and thinking in such a manner as will be most likely to bring about the aim of the soul.

This leads us unerringly to virtue and knowledge, for the vices and the passions eternally becloud our perception of the meaning of what the Ego tries to tell us. It is for this reason that the sages inculcate virtue. Is it not plain that, if the vicious could accomplish the translation of the Ego's language, they would have done it long ago, and is it not known to us all that only among the virtuous can the Sages be found?

Path, June, 1890Eusebio Urban



I SPEAK of ordinary men. The Adept, the Master, the Yogi, the Mahatma, the Buddha, each lives in more than three states while incarnated upon this world, and they are fully conscious of them all, while the ordinary man is only conscious of the first―the waking-life, as the word conscious is now understood.

Every theosophist who is in earnest ought to know the importance of these three states, and especially how essential it is that one should not lose in Swapna the memory of experiences in Sushupti, nor in Jagrata those of Swapna, and vice versâ.

Jagrata, our waking state, is the one in which we must be regenerated; where we must come to a full consciousness of the Self within, for in no other is salvation possible.

When a man dies he goes either to the Supreme Condition from which no return against his will is possible, or to the other states―heaven, hell, avitchi, devachan, what not―from which return to incarnation is inevitable. But he cannot go to the Supreme State unless he has perfected and regenerated himself; unless the wonderful and shining heights on which the Masters stand have been reached while he is in a body.

This consummation, so devoutly desired, cannot be secured unless at some period in his evolution the being takes the steps that lead to the final attainment. These steps can and must be taken. In the very first is contained the possibility of the last,


for causes once put in motion eternally produce their natural results.

Among those steps are an acquaintance with and understanding of the three states first spoken of.

Jagrata acts on Swapna, producing dreams and suggestions, and either disturbs the instructions that come down from the higher state or aids the person through waking calmness and concentration which tend to lessen the distortions of the mental experiences of dream life. Swapna again in its turn acts on the waking state (Jagrata) by the good or bad suggestions made to him in dreams. All experience and all religions are full of proofs of this. In the fabled Garden of Eden the wily serpent whispered in the ear of the sleeping mortal to the end that when awake he should violate the command. In Job it is said that God instructeth man in sleep, in dreams, and in visions of the night. And the common introspective and dream life of the most ordinary people needs no proof. Many cases are within my knowledge where the man was led to commit acts against which his better nature rebelled, the suggestion for the act coming to him in dream. It was because the unholy state of his waking thoughts infected his dreams, and laid him open to evil influences. By natural action and reaction he poisoned both Jagrata and Swapna.

It is therefore our duty to purify and keep clear these two planes.

The third state common to all is Sushupti, which has been translated "dreamless sleep." The translation is inadequate, for, while it is dreamless, it is also a state in which even criminals commune through the higher nature with spiritual beings and enter into the spiritual plane. It is the great spiritual reservoir by means of which the tremendous momentum toward evil living is held in check. And because it is involuntary with them, it is constantly salutary in its effect.

In order to understand the subject better, it is well to consider a little in detail what happens when one falls asleep, has dreams, and then enters Sushupti. As his outer senses are


dulled the brain begins to throw up images, the reproductions of waking acts and thoughts, and soon he is asleep. He has then entered a plane of experience which is as real as that just quitted, only that it is of a different sort. We may roughly divide this from the waking life by an imaginary partition on the one side, and from Sushupti by another partition on the other. In this region he wanders until he begins to rise beyond it into the higher. There no disturbances come from the brain action, and the being is a partaker to the extent his nature permits of the "banquet of the gods." But he has to return to waking state, and he can get back by no other road than the one he came upon, for, as Sushupti extends in every direction and Swapna under it also in every direction, there is no possibility of emerging at once from Sushupti into Jagrata. And this is true even though on returning no memory of any dream is retained.

Now the ordinary non-concentrated man, by reason of the want of focus due to multitudinous and confused thought, has put his Swapna field or state into confusion, and in passing through it the useful and elevating experiences of Sushupti become mixed up and distorted, not resulting in the benefit to him as a waking person which is his right as well as his duty to have. Here again is seen the lasting effect, either prejudicial or the opposite, of the conduct and thoughts when awake.

So it appears, then, that what he should try to accomplish is such a clearing up and vivification of Swapna state as shall result in removing the confusion and distortion existing there, in order that upon emerging into waking life he may retain a wider and brighter memory of what occurred in Sushupti. This is done by an increase of concentration upon high thoughts, upon noble purposes, upon all that is best and most spiritual in him while awake. The best result cannot be accomplished in a week or a year, perhaps not in a life, but, once begun, it will lead to the perfection of spiritual cultivation in some incarnation hereafter.

By this course a centre of attraction is set up in him while


awake, and to that all his energies flow, so that it may be figured to ourselves as a focus in the waking man. To this focal point―looking at it from that plane―converge the rays from the whole waking man toward Swapna, carrying him into dream-state with greater clearness. By reaction this creates another focus in Swapna, through which he can emerge into Sushupti in a collected condition. Returning he goes by means of these points through Swapna, and there, the confusion being lessened, he enters into his usual waking state the possessor, to some extent at least, of the benefits and knowledge of Sushupti. The difference between the man who is not concentrated and the one who is, consists in this, that the first passes from one state to the other through the imaginary partitions postulated above, just as sand does through a sieve, while the concentrated man passes from one to the other similarly to water through a pipe or the rays of the sun through a lens. In the first case each stream of sand is a different experience, a different set of confused and irregular thoughts, whereas the collected man goes and returns the owner of regular and clear experience.

These thoughts are not intended to be exhaustive, but so far as they go it is believed they are correct. The subject is one of enormous extent as well as great importance, and theosophists are urged to purify, elevate, and concentrate the thoughts and acts of their waking hours so that they shall not continually and aimlessly, night after night and day succeeding day, go into and return from these natural and wisely appointed states, no wiser, no better able to help their fellow men. For by this way, as by the spider's small thread, we may gain the free space of spiritual life.

Path, August, 1888Eusebio Urban



MR. Sinnett's book Esoteric Buddhism has done a great deal towards bringing before the West the Eastern philosophy regarding man and his constitution, but it has also served to perpetuate the use of a word that is misleading and incorrect. In that work on p. 61 he states, "Seven distinct principles are recognized by Esoteric Science as entering into the constitution of man," and then gives his scheme of division thus, The body, Vitality, Astral Body, Animal Soul, Human Soul, Spiritual Soul, and seventh, Spirit or Atma. Now if Spirit be, as the whole philosophy declares, in all and through all, it is erroneous to call it one of the series. This very early led to the accusation that we believed in seven distinct spirits in man. It always leads to misconception, and directly tends to preventing our understanding fully that the Atma includes, and is the substratum of, all the others. In India it caused a protracted and, at times, heated discussion between the adherents of the rigid seven-fold classification of Esoteric Buddhism and several learned and unlearned Hindus who supported a four-fold or five-fold division. During that debate the chief Hindu controverter, while holding to a different system, admitted the existence of "a real esoteric seven-fold classification," which of course cannot be given to the public. Mr. Sinnett also evidently made a mistake when he said that the first mentioned division is the esoteric one.

Now it would seem that many of these misconceptions and differences could be prevented if a word were adopted and invariably used that would clearly express the idea intended


to be conveyed. As the prime declaration of theosophy is that all these so-called bodies and appearances are for the purpose of enabling the ONE―the Atma―to fully comprehend nature and "bring about the aim of the soul," why not denominate all that it uses for that purpose as vehicles? This name is strictly in accord with all parts of the philosophy. It is in effect the same as Upadhi, or basis, foundation, carrier. By its use we make no error when we say that theosophy declares there is Atma, which works with and through six vehicles. Strictly, the body is a vehicle for the astral body, it for the next, and so on up to Atma, which is therefore seen to be all and in all, as is clearly declared in Bhagavad-Gita.

This change, or to some other than "principles," should be adopted by all theosophists, for every day there is more inquiry by new minds, and theosophists themselves, indeed, need to use their words with care when dealing with such subjects. Or if greater clearness is desired, let us say that there is one principle which acts through six vehicles. The scheme will then stand thus:

Atma (spirit), one principle, indivisible
Its vehicles are:
Buddhi Spiritual Soul
Manas Human Soul
Kama Rupa Animal Soul
Linga Sharira Astral Body
Prana or Jiva Vitality
Rupa The Body

Names have power, and if we go on talking of 7 principles when in truth there is but one, we are continually clouding our conception of theosophic truth.

Path, April, 1890Eusebio Urban



After this, I said, imagine the enlightenment and ignorance of our nature in a figure: Behold! human beings living in a sort of underground den, which has a mouth opening towards the light, and reaching all across the den; they have been here from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them; for the chains are arranged in such a manner as to prevent them from turning their heads. At a distance above and behind them the light of a fire is blazing, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way, and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have before them, over which they show the puppets.

I see, he said.

And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall, carrying vessels which appear over the wall; and some of the passengers, as you would expect, are talking, and some of them are silent?

That is a strange image, he said, and they are strange prisoners.

Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

True, he said, how could they see anything but the shadows, if they were never allowed to move their heads?

And of the objects which were being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?

Yes, he said.

And if they were able to talk with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?

Very true.

And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy that the voice which they heard was the voice of a passing shade?

No question, he said.

There can be no question, that the truth would be to them just nothing but the shadows of the images.

THE term consciousness is used by writers connected with the Theosophical movement with a very wide range of meaning. Atoms are invisible lives, says H.P.B.; and there is no such thing as inorganic, in the sense of dead


or lifeless matter. Every variety or kind of existence is conscious on its own plane or according to its own condition or state; the molecules of granite as well and as truly, though not in the same way, as the mind of man. Every molecule in the brain has its own consciousness, according to its state or plane of existence; and the sum of the consciousness of its molecules is the consciousness of the brain in its totality, considered as a merely physical, visible organ.

But the astral man, which we may take to be coextensive with the physical man, and to correspond with it, if not to coincide with it, organ for organ and molecule for molecule, is the real seat of sensation; and in the brain the sensations are registered and interpreted. The astral brain, the organ of Kama Manas, or of the lower or personal mind, furnishes the connecting link between the thinker and the object of thought; and here is bridged the chasm which has been recognized by philosophers in Western lands at least, as utterly impassable. Says President Bascom:

Facts must exist either in space as physical or in consciousness, as mental; there is no third state. Mental and physical phenomena are cut broadly and deeply apart, by the fact that the one class transpires exclusively in consciousness and the other as exclusively out of consciousness (in space).

Again he says:

There is no a priori impossibility discoverable by us, making the transfer of influence from mind to matter, from matter to mind, an absurdity. Our last traces of physical force in the movement inward are found in the brain; our first traces in the movement outward are also met with at the same point. Thus far only can the eye trace material changes; here is it first able to pick them up. How the last nervous impulse is linked to the play of consciousness. . .we cannot imagine. . .We are profoundly ignorant of any connection between the two.

Now the scheme of Theosophy recognizes a continuous gradation of powers, faculties, states, principles―call them what you will―from the highest or most spiritual to the lowest or most material. In this whole gamut of states or conditions no chasm is found; there is nothing to bridge; consciousness is the necessary substratum and presupposition of


the most material, and consciousness is the noumenon or essential reality of the most spiritual.

We know of nothing more material or external than the physical, material, visible body―the world of matter, so called; and here is the inner wall (reversing the figure from outward to inward) of the cave which Socrates describes in Plato's dialogue; the wall upon which fall the shadows supposed by the prisoners to be the only realities. Indeed, the "wall" may be taken as merely the drop-curtain of the theatre, and the shadows themselves as representing the physical substance known to ourselves and our fellow prisoners. Hence there can be on this lowest plane (the plane of the shadows) really no consciousness as we know it; consciousness only looks on what is below, and cannot for its chains turn its face upward to the light. It is said, indeed, that the atom is the Atma or seventh principle of the molecule; but the molecule is infinitesimal and invisible, and what consciousness on that plane―we cannot profitably guess even, much less know.

The astral or kamic man is within, or above, or superior to the physical man; and its apprehension of external or physical nature, which we term sensation, is the lowest form of consciousness recognized by us. But mere sensation is not intelligent. As the astral or emotional man exists within (in the symbolic meaning of "within") the physical man, and by its power of sense takes hold of the latter, so there exists within the astral or emotional the logical faculty or principle whose office is to sort out the sensations and refer each to its source or cause in the outer world. This logical faculty (the lower mind or Kama Manas) is, as related to the world or planes below it, the faculty that perceives; and its action in taking hold of and interpreting the sensation is called perception.

Now suppose we consider the real Ego, the enduring entity that we mean when we say "man," to be one of the prisoners represented by Plato as confined in a den or cave; and external, physical, visible and tangible matter as the shadows on


the wall of the cave. The Ego, in its descent from spirit into matter, goes deeper and deeper into the cave until it reaches the wall and is stopped. It can go no farther; and it must, impelled by the universal and all-embracing law of action and reaction, retrace its course toward spirit. Its progress downward or outward (from spirit,―inward as to the cave) has been without consciousness in any sense that we can comprehend. When it strikes the wall of its dungeon and strives to go still farther, it cannot do so; its limit is reached. This develops unintelligent consciousness―a consciousness wholly spiritual, and in no sense manasic. As it recedes backward in involution, still facing the wall, the reflected light of Manas thrown back from the wall enables it to interpret in a manner these sensations―to distinguish them from each other and to group them―but not at first to relate them to itself. Here is the beginning of the lowest mind, known in Mr. Sinnett's classification as Kama Rupa or the Animal soul. To reach this degree of development immeasurable ages were required. The first dawn of sensation begins when the physical development has proceeded far enough to furnish a suitable vehicle for the astral body. The astral development goes on, and moulds the physical world to its purpose, until it in its turn has become―or until the two together have become―a suitable vehicle for the emotional and perceptive faculties. These steps are easy to name, but they have been taken with slow and toilsome tread through the first, second and third rounds of our chain of globes; and were repeated in briefer but immensely long periods in the first races of this our fourth round.

To the stone belongs molecular consciousness, not consciousness as we know it, but only so called by analogy; to the plant belongs astral consciousness, or the dawn of sensation; to the animal belongs emotional consciousness, or the dawn of perception. As this faculty or principle becomes more and more fully developed and active a new faculty begins to act―the human intellect, the lower manas begins to awake and exercise its functions. The prisoner has retreated


far enough from the wall of his cave, has evolved far enough toward spiritual perception, to be able to recognize his lower principles as himself―to relate the experience, the sensations, the perceptions of these lower principles to his own identity; to distinguish between the "I" and the "not-I." This is self-consciousness, or consciousness of self; and here the human stage is reached in the return of the monad from its journey to the confines of matter.

In Discussions of Philosophy and Literature, Sir William Hamilton, one of the foremost philosophers of modern times, makes the following statement:

In the philosophy of mind, subjective denotes what is to be referred to the thinking subject, the Ego; objective, what belongs to the object of thought, the Non-Ego These correlative terms correspond to the first and most important distinction in philosophy; they embody the original antithesis in consciousness of self and non-self―a distinction which in fact involves the whole science of mind; for psychology is nothing more than a determination of the subjective and the objective, in themselves, and in their reciprocal relations.

Hamilton was not only a profound thinker and an erudite scholar; he was also a master in the English language, and capable of expressing his thoughts clearly and tersely. The definition above quoted certainly gives the right use of these terms; and for those who, with President Bascom, hold that a gulf that cannot be bridged cuts broadly apart the facts which transpire in consciousness and the facts which transpire in space, it would seem to need no further elucidation. But when they are used in Theosophical discussions, the further consideration must not be overlooked, that the Ego, the Non-Ego, and the bond between the two (the thinker, the object of thought, and the thought) are all one. This gives emphasis to the fact that the line between the subject and object is purely imaginary; the distinction is logical and not metaphysical. Thus the terms subjective and objective are seen to be wholly correlative, and what is subjective in one relation is objective in another, and vice versâ. This correlative feature has always been recognized; but it becomes more significant and takes on new phases when viewed in the light of


the septenary constitution of man.

Philosophers who have thought most deeply, and who have explored most fully the nature of man, and the various problems of ontology, show by their postulates and their reasoning that they implicitly apprehend, if they do not explicitly recognize, several of the distinctions represented by the septenary classification of principles. Dr. James March, president of the University of Vermont at the time of his death about fifty years ago, left several philosophical treatises which were afterward collected and published by his successor in the faculty of that institution. It is many years since I read this work, but I remember distinctly an essay in which the learned doctor discussed the changes wrought by the supervening of higher faculties in the course of evolution. He spoke of the force by which a crystal is built up by accretion, by regular additions from without; of the force by which a vegetable germ develops from within; of the powers of perception and locomotion which distinguish the animal, to some species of which he conceded the logical faculty of ratiocination; and of the faculty of intuition, or perception of intellectual and spiritual truths and axioms, which distinguishes man from the lower forms of animal life. Here, in the classification of existence as amorphous, crystalline, vegetable, animal and human, each higher including all lower but super adding a new faculty, power, or principle or growth, there is plainly foreshadowed the method upon which our teaching of the septenary constitution of nature and of man is developed.

As the subjective is that which is within, and the objective is that which is without, the relation first emerges upon the evolution of the astral principle, or Linga Sharira; for the merely physical entity is so thoroughly one in nature that its different forms can hardly be considered as bearing this relation to each other. (Yet there is probably a septenary in physical nature below the astral, as witness earth, water, air, fire, etc.; and earth may be in truth objective to air.) The distinctions that are so obvious, organic, inorganic, etc., are really differing manifestations of the informing higher prin-


ciples. But upon the development of the astral principle the relation appears; this is subjective as to the physical body, and the latter is objective as to the former. So when the kamic principle develops, or evolves from potentiality to potency, from a latent state to activity, this in turn becomes subjective, and to it the lower principles are objective. When the Lower Manas in its turn becomes active and subjective, it take intelligent cognizance of the lower principles as objective, and recognizes their identity with itself, and then self-consciousness appears. And when, by evolution or training, the Higher Manas becomes active, then will the entire quaternary, or lower Ego, become in relation to this added faculty, objective.

This is very well expressed in an article in Lucifer for September, 1891 (Vol IX, p. 23,) as follows:

This expansion of consciousness includes a development of the subtile senses which open up to the inner man new worlds, people with their inhabitants, and interdependent the one with the other. The subjective becomes the objective, with a still more subtile subjectivity beyond, which can become again objective as a still more spiritual consciousness is attained by the striver after freedom.

In the Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 189, H.P.B. says:

It stands to reason that there must be an enormous difference in such terms as "objectivity" and "subjectivity," "materiality" and "spirituality," when the same terms are applied to different planes of being and perception.

This paper is intended to be suggestive rather than exhaustive; and I shall have accomplished my purpose if I have set the relation of subjective to objective in a clearer light, and pointed out the direction in which to look for a better understanding of the philosophical side of our literature.

Path, February, 1896Alpha


THIS sentence in the Bhagavad Gita has been often passed over as being either meaningless or mysterious; on one hand worthless to consider, and on the other hand impossible. Some students have, however, made good use of the teaching contained in it. It is a verse that bears directly upon Theosophy as applied to our daily life, and therefore may well be scrutinized.

It indicates two selfs, one the enemy and also the friend of the other. Evidently, without the suggestions found in Theosophy, two selfs in one person cannot seem otherwise than meaningless, except in those cases, admitted by Science, where there is an aberration of the intellect, where one lobe of the brain refuses to work with the other, or where there is some cerebral derangement. But after a little study of the constitution of man―material and spiritual―as we find it outlined in the Wisdom-Religion, we easily see that the higher and the lower self are meant.

The next injunction, to "raise the self by the self," clearly points to this; for, as a thing cannot raise itself without a fulcrum, the self which will raise us must be the higher one, and that which is to be raised is the lower.

In order to accomplish this task we must gain an acquaintance with the self which is to be raised. The greater and more accurate that acquaintance is, the quicker will proceed the work of elevating the being who attempts it.

Let us for a moment look at the obstacles in the way, the reasons why, with so many, their understanding of themselves


is so plainly deficient.

Everyone knows that he can see the defects in the actions and character of other men better than his own. Some, of course, there are who do not allow that they have defects.

St. James says that a man looketh in a glass and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he is. While I have often doubted this, yet it is true in respect to that looking-glass which is often by others held up to us to see ourselves in. We see for a moment our appearance and then forget it.

There are some things, however, as to which it is often impossible for us to know ourselves. Such of our tones as are harsh or disagreeable we often cannot hear as others do. For there is hardly anything so difficult as to really hear our own voice in its entirety of tone and accent. We are so accustomed to it that we cannot tell whether it be pleasing or repellent, musical or discordant. We have to rely upon the statements of those who hear it. Indeed, I doubt seriously if anyone can ever fully hear, in the way those to whom we speak do, the tones of his voice, because it is conveyed to us not only through the medium of the outer ear which receives the vibrations made without us, but we receive it in addition through the vibrations made within all through the skull, and hence it must ever be a different voice for ourselves. So it would not be profitable to pay too much attention to the sound of our voice if we do so to the exclusion of that inner attitude which nearly always determines the tone in which we speak; for if our feelings be kind and charitable, it is more than likely that the vocal expression of them will correspond. The cultivation of the voice, so far as it is possible, can safely be left to those teachers who aim to soften and polish it.

By taking a few examples from among the many about us and assuming that they represent possible defects and peculiarities of our own, we may arrive at something useful in our Theosophic life.

Here is one who will constantly tell you that several others are always very fond of talking of themselves and their affairs,


and appear to take no interest in the conversation unless it has themselves for center. And after thus depicting the failings of the others, this person―man or woman― immediately proceeds to show that that is his own particular fault for from that moment the burden of the conversation is "I" or "my" affairs.

Our next subject is one who talks a great deal about altruism and brotherhood, but would not give a dollar to any good cause. Not perhaps from intentional niggardliness, but from sheer habit of not giving and not helping.

Here is another who exemplifies the prominent defect of the century, inattention. He listens to you, but only hears a part, and then, when repeating what he says he heard you say, he gives a version entirely at variance with yours. Or, listening to an argument or discussion, he only attends to that part which being familiar to him strikes him favorably.

Next we have the bigot who, while exalting freedom of thought and the unity of all men, displays most frightful bigotry.

Then there is another who illustrates a variety of the first to which I referred;―the man who wishes apparently only to impose his own views upon you, and is careless about knowing what your opinions may be.

Here is the partisan who favors such a school or set. Nothing can be said against them, no defect may be painted out. Partisanship clouds it all.

Now all of these are only samples; but in some degree every one of us has them all, perhaps slightly, but still there. They are all the result of the predominance of the lower self, for they all show a disposition to put the personal I to the front. They are the present triumph of the lower self over the efforts of the higher. They may be abated in some degree by attention to their outer expression, but no real progress will be gained unless work upon the hidden plane is begun. Such a defect as that one of not listening long to another man's views, but hurrying to tell him what you think yourself, is one that


affects the acquiring of new ideas. If you constantly tell others what you think, you are gaining nothing. For your experience and views are your own, well known to you. The repeated expression of them only serves to imprint them more strongly on your mind. You do not receive any of the new lights that other minds might cast upon your philosophy if you gave them the opportunity.

There are other factors in our constitution which are powerful for the production of faults. Every man has two lines of descent. One is that which comes through his parents and has to do with his mental and physical makeup. This line may run back into the most strange and peculiar places, and be found winding in and out among manners and minds not suspected by us. Suppose your physical line of descent comes through Danes or Norwegians and mine through the French. There will be to some extent a want of sympathy and appreciation on the mental plane between us. Of course this effect will not be apparent if the period of time is long since our blood ran in those bodies, but still there will be left some trace of it. There will be a tendency always for the physical, including the brain, to show the characteristics which result from the preponderance of inherited faculties and dispositions. These characteristics belong wholly to the physical plane, and are carried down from the centuries past by inheritance, affecting the particular body you may inhabit in any one incarnation. It is your Karma to have that sort of physical environment about your inner self. Now the obstacles to the perception of truth and to the acquirement of knowledge of self which are in consequence of the physical inheritance, are difficult to perceive, involving much study and self-examination for the bringing them to light. But they are there, and the serious Theosophist will search for them. These differences in the physical body, which we will call for the time differences in inheritance, are of the highest importance. They resemble the differences between telescopes or microscopes made by different opticians, and tend to cause us to see truth clearly or blurred, or surrounded by many-colored mists. What we most


desire to have is a mental telescope that is not only powerful, but also devoid of the colors which achromatic quality only will dispel.

The second line of descent is that one which belongs purely to the inner man; that is, the psychical line. It is obscure, and, indeed, can only be discovered and defined by an adept or a trained seer whose clairvoyance permits him to see that intangible yet powerful thread which has so much to do with our character. It is just as important as the physical descent, in fact more so, because it has to do with the ever-living man, whereas the physical tenement is selected by or follows upon the actions which the inner man compelled the former body to perform. So it may be altered at any time with ease if we live in obedience to the higher law.

Passing from the broad line of descent in a nation, we find each individual governed also by the family peculiarities and faults, and they are not as easy to define as those that are national, since few men are in possession of any facts sufficient to ascertain the general family tendencies.

Coming down now to ourselves, it is almost axiomatic that each one’s mind acts in a way peculiar to itself. There is a tendency that daily grows stronger after our earlier years for the mind to get into a rut, its own rut or mode of looking at things and ideas. This is of great importance. For the man who has freed his mind so that it is capable of easily entering into the methods of other minds is more likely to see truth quicker than he who is fixed in his own ways.

We must then at once constitute ourselves our own critics and adversaries, for it is not often that anyone else is either willing or capable to take that part for us.

Our first step and the most difficult―for some, indeed impossible―is to shock ourselves in such a manner that we may quickly be able to get out of, or rather understand, our own mental methods. I do not mean that we must abandon all our previous training and education, but that we shall so analyze all our mental operations as to know with certainty,


to easily perceive, the actual difference in method between ourselves and any other person. This is a thing seldom undertaken or accomplished by men nowadays. Each one is enamored of his own mental habits, and disinclined to admit that any other one can be better. When we have become acquainted with this mental path of ours, we are then in position to see whether in any particular case our view is false.

This is the psychological and metaphysical equivalent of that scientific process which classifies and compares so as to arrive at distinguishing differences in things in order that physical laws may be discovered. For while we remain in ignorance of the method and path of our mind's actions, there is no way in which we can compare with other minds. We can compare views and opinions, but not the actual mechanics of the thought. We can hear doctrines, but are unable to say whether we accept or reject from right reasoning or because our peculiar slant on the mental plane compels us to ratiocinate wholly in accordance with a mental obliquity acquired by many years of hurried life.

The value of thus understanding our own mental bias so that we can give it up at will and enter into a bias of another's mind is seen when we consider that each of us is able to perceive but one of the many sides which truth presents. If we remain in the rut which is natural, we pass through an entire life viewing nature and the field of thought through but one sort of instrument. But by the other practice we may obtain as many different views of truth as the number of the minds we meet. When another human being brings his thoughts before us, we may not only examine them in our way, but also take his method and, adopting his bias for the time as our own, see just that much more.

It is very easy to illustrate this from ordinary life. The novelist sees in the drawing-rooms of society and the hovels of the poor only the material that may serve as the basis for a new book, while the social schemer drives thought of hovels away and sees in society only the means of gratifying pride and ambition, yet the artist can only think of the play of color


and arrangement of figures, the harmony that delights his artistic sense.

The plain man of affairs is not attracted by the complex events of every day which have no relation to his business, whereas the student of Occultism knows that very obscure events point to other things yet in the future. In every stratum of society and every art or profession we constantly have it brought home to us that each man looks at any subject from but one or two standpoints, and when a well-balanced mind is found looking at events and men and thoughts freely from all sides, everyone sees at once a superiority in the person, albeit they may not be able to explain it.

But it is in Theosophic study especially that it is wise for us to constitute ourselves our own critics and to adopt as far as possible the practice of leaving our own mental road and taking up some other. The truth is simple and not so difficult to arrive at if we will follow the advice of the Hindu Upanishad and cut away error. Error grows largely out of notions and preconceptions educated into us by our teachers and our lives.

The influence of these preconceptions is seen every day among those Theosophists who are seeking for more books to read upon Theosophy. Their minds are so full of old notions which are not violently expelled, that truth cannot be easily perceived. But if they read fewer new books and spent more time in re-reading those first attempted, meanwhile studiously endeavoring to enter into all of the author's thought, much more progress would be gained.

Take, for instance, the Key to Theosophy. It is full of all the main doctrines of the Wisdom-Religion, and of hints towards others. Many persons have read the book and then sought another. They say they have mastered it. Yet if you put to them some questions or listen to their own, it is apparent that only that part of the work which in some way coincides with their own previous training and line of thought has been grasped. Now this is just the part they need not have


dwelt upon, because, being like to themselves, it may at any time be understood. But if one will ever stand as one's own critic, then those parts which seem obscure will be attacked, and, being viewed from all sides, may be soon turned into a possession. And just because such has not been the practice, it has come to be the fact that some extremely valuable presentations of doctrine and philosophy remain buried in earlier Theosophical books and magazines, while those who once read them have gone feverishly on to other works and forgotten that which might have enlightened them.

The Theosophist who delights to call himself practical and logical, an abhorrer of mysticism, should try to see what the mystical Theosophist means, and the mystic one should read carefully the words of the practical member to the end that he may counterbalance himself. A wholly practical or entirely mystical mind is not well balanced. And as long as the logical and practical man in our ranks scouts mysticism and never reads it, so long will he remain deformed and unbalanced in the eyes of those who see both sides, because he is wrapped up in ideas and methods that are only right in their own domain. The attitude of mind proposed is not to be observed only toward our literature and the philosophy studied; it is to be that of every hour and applicable to our dealings with our fellow-men. It will lead us to discern the common failing of refusing to consider the thoughts expressed by another because his or her personality is disagreeable to us. Often in our ranks we can find those who never pay any attention to certain other members who they have decided cannot reason properly or talk clearly. Now aside from all considerations of charity and politeness, there is an occult law much lost sight of, and that is that everyone is led insensibly by Karmic law to address others on these topics and to afford an opportunity to the person addressed of taking a leap, so to say, out of his own favorite way, and considering life as seen through the eyes of another. This is often brought about, if we permit it, through the endeavor to control the irritation or dullness caused by the way in which the other person pre-


sents the thought in his mind. But if we refuse to use the opportunity, either by absolutely running away or by covering our minds with a hard coat of indifference, the new and bright idea just trembling into the field of our consciousness is thrown back and lost in the dark recesses of the mental plane. Or, taking another view, we may under Karmic law be the one and only person just then fitted to elucidate our brother's idea, and we remain still the debtor to him if we do not accept the opportunity. On either hand the result is demerit.

Let us, then, conquer self in the field indicated, and thus turn the inward insidious enemy and deceiver into the friend and constant guide.

Branch Paper No. 5
August, 1890.William Q. Judge


THESE three, meditation, concentration, will, have engaged the attention of Theosophists perhaps more than any other three subjects. A canvass of opinions would probably show that the majority of our reading and thinking members would rather hear these subjects discussed and read definite directions about them than any others in the entire field. They say they must meditate, they declare a wish for concentration, they would like a powerful will, and they sigh for strict directions, readable by the most foolish theosophist. It is a western cry for a curriculum, a course, a staked path, a line and rule by inches and links. Yet the path has long been outlined and described, so that any one could read the directions whose mind had not been half-ruined by modern false education, and memory rotted by the superficial methods of a superficial literature and a wholly vain modern life.

Let us divide Meditation into two sorts. First is the meditation practiced at a set time, or an occasional one, whether by design or from physiological idiosyncrasy. Second is the meditation of an entire lifetime, that single thread of intention, intentness, and desire running through the years stretching between the cradle and the grave. For the first, in Patanjali's Aphorisms will be found all needful rules and particularity. If these are studied and not forgotten, then practice must give results. How many of those who reiterate the call for instruction on this head have read that book, only to turn it down and never again consider it? Far too many.

The mysterious subtle thread of a life meditation is that which is practiced every hour by philosopher, mystic, saint, criminal, artist, artisan, and merchant. It is pursued in respect to that on which the heart is set; it rarely languishes; at times


the meditating one greedily running after money, fame, and power looks up briefly and sighs for a better life during a brief interval, but the passing flash of a dollar or a sovereign recalls him to his modern senses, and the old meditation begins again. Since all theosophists are here in the social whirl I refer to, they can every one take these words to themselves as they please. Very certainly, if their life meditation is fixed low down near the ground, the results flowing to them from it will be strong, very lasting, and related to the low level on which they work. Their semi-occasional meditations will give precisely semi-occasional results in the long string of recurring births.

"But then," says another, "what of concentration? We must have it. We wish it; we lack it." Is it a piece of goods that you can buy it, do you think, or something that will come to you just for the wishing? Hardly. In the way we divided meditation into two great sorts, so we can divide concentration. One is the use of an already acquired power on a fixed occasion, the other the deep and constant practice of a power that has been made a possession. Concentration is not memory, since the latter is known to act without our concentrating on anything, and we know that centuries ago the old thinkers very justly called memory a phantasy. But by reason of a peculiarity of the human mind the associative part of memory is waked up the very instant concentration is attempted. It is this that makes students weary and at last drives them away from the pursuit of concentration. A man sits down to concentrate on the highest idea he can formulate, and like a flash troops of recollections of all sorts of affairs, old thoughts and impressions come before his mind, driving away the great object he first selected, and concentration is at an end.

This trouble is only to be corrected by practice, by assiduity, by continuance. No strange and complicated directions are needed. All we have to do is to try and to keep on trying.

The subject of the Will has not been treated of much in theosophical works, old or new. Patanjali does not go into it at all. It seems to be inferred by him through his aphorisms.


Will is universal, and belongs to not only man and animals, but also to every other natural kingdom. The good and bad man alike have will, the child and the aged, the wise and the lunatic. It is therefore a power devoid in itself of moral quality. That quality must be added by man.

So the truth must be that will acts according to desire, or, as the older thinkers used to put it, "behind will stands desire." This is why the child, the savage, the lunatic, and the wicked man so often exhibit a stronger will than others. The wicked man has intensified his desires, and with that his will. The lunatic has but few desires, and draws all his will force into these; the savage is free from convention, from the various ideas, laws, rules, and suppositions to which the civilized person is subject, and has nothing to distract his will. So to make our will strong we must have fewer desires. Let those be high, pure, and altruistic; they will give us strong will.

No mere practice will develop will per se, for it exists forever, fully developed in itself. But practice will develop in us the power to call on that will which is ours. Will and Desire lie at the doors of Meditation and Concentration. If we desire truth with the same intensity that we had formerly wished for success, money, or gratification, we will speedily acquire meditation and possess concentration. If we do all our acts, small and great, every moment, for the sake of the whole human race, as representing the Supreme Self, then every cell and fibre of the body and inner man will be turned in one direction, resulting in perfect concentration. This is expressed in the New Testament in the statement that if the eye is single the whole body will be full of light, and in the Bhagavad Gita it is still more clearly and comprehensively given through the different chapters. In one it is beautifully put as the lighting up in us of the Supreme One, who then becomes visible. Let us meditate on that which is in us as the Highest Self, concentrate upon it, and will to work for it as dwelling in every human heart.

Irish Theosophist, July 15, 1893William Q. Judge



THE term most generally in use to express what is included under the above title is SELF CULTURE. Now it seems to well enough express, for a time at least, the practice referred to by those who desire to know the truth. But, in fact, it is inaccurate from a theosophic standpoint. For the self is held to be that designated in the Indian books as Ishwara, which is a portion of the eternal spirit enshrined in each human body. That this is the Indian view there is no doubt. The Bhagavad-Gita in Ch. 15 says that an eternal portion of this spirit, "having assumed life in this world of life, attracts the heart and the five senses which belong to nature. Whatever body Ishwara enters or quits, it is connected with it by snatching those senses from nature, even as the breeze snatches perfumes from their very bed. This spirit approaches the objects of sense by presiding over the ear, the eye, the touch, the taste, and the smell, and also over the heart"; and in an earlier chapter, "the Supreme spirit within this body is called the Spectator and admonisher, sustainer, enjoyer, great Lord, and also highest soul"; and again, "the Supreme eternal soul, even when existing within―or connected with―the body, is not polluted by the actions of the body."

Elsewhere in these books this same spirit is called the self, as in a celebrated sentence which in Sanscrit is "Atmanam atmana, pashya," meaning, "Raise the self by the self," and all through the Upanishads, where the self is constantly spoken of as the same as the Ishwara of Bhagavad-Gita. Max Muller thinks the word "self" expresses best in English the ideas of


the Upanishads on this head.

It therefore follows that such a thing as culture of this self, which in its very nature is eternal, unchangeable, and unpollutable by any action, cannot be. It is only from inadequacy of terms that students and writers using the English tongue are compelled to say "self culture," while, when they say it, they admit that they know the self cannot be cultured.

What they wish to express is, "such culture or practice to be pursued by us as shall enable us, while on earth, to mirror forth the wisdom and fulfill the behests of the self within, which is all wise and all good."

As the use of this term "self culture" demands a constant explanation either outwardly declared or inwardly assented to, it is wise to discard it altogether and substitute that which will express the practice aimed at without raising a contradiction. For another reason also the term should be discarded. That is, that it assumes a certain degree of selfishness, for, if we use it as referring to something that we do only for ourself, we separate at once between us and the rest of the human brotherhood. Only in one way can we use it without contradiction or without explanation, and that is by admitting we selfishly desire to cultivate ourselves, thus at once running against a prime rule in theosophic life and one so often and so strenuously insisted on, that the idea of personal self must be uprooted. Of course, as we will not negative this rule, we thus again have brought before us the necessity for a term that does not arouse contradictions. That new term should, as nearly as possible, shadow forth the three essential things in the action, that is, the instrument, the act, and the agent, as well as the incitement to action; or, knowledge itself, the thing to be known or done, and the person who knows.

This term is CONCENTRATION. In the Indian books it is called Yoga. This is translated also as Union, meaning a union with the Supreme Being, or, as it is otherwise put, "the object of spiritual knowledge is the Supreme Being."

There are two great divisions of Yoga found in the ancient


books, and they are called Hatha-Yoga and Raj-Yoga.

Hatha-Yoga is a practical mortification of the body by means of which certain powers are developed. It consists in the assumption of certain postures that aid the work, and certain kinds of breathing that bring on changes in the system, together with other devices. It is referred to in the 4th chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita thus: "Some devotees sacrifice the sense of hearing and the other senses in the fires of restraint; some offer objects of sense, such as sound, in the fires of the senses. Some also sacrifice inspiration of breath in expiration, and expiration in inspiration, by blocking up the channels of inspiration and expiration, desirous of retaining their breath. Others, by abstaining from food, sacrifice life in their life."

In various treatises these methods are set forth in detail, and there is no doubt at all that by pursuing them one can gain possession of sundry abnormal powers. There is risk, however, especially in the case of people in the West where experienced gurus or teachers of these things are not found. These risks consist in this, that while an undirected person is doing according to the rules of Hatha-Yoga, he arouses about him influences that do him harm, and he also carries his natural functions to certain states now and then when he ought to stop for a while, but, having no knowledge of the matter, may go on beyond that and produce injurious effects. Then, again, Hatha-Yoga is a difficult thing to pursue, and one that must be pushed to the point of mastery and success. Few of our Western people are by nature fitted for such continuous and difficult labor on the mental and astral planes. Thus, being attracted to Hatha-Yoga by the novelty of it, and by the apparent pay that it offers in visible physical results, they begin without knowledge of the difficulty, and stopping after a period of trial they bring down upon themselves consequences that are wholly undesirable.

The greatest objection to it, however, is that it pertains to the material and semi-material man,―roughly speaking, to the body, and what is gained through it is lost at death.


The Bhagavad-Gita refers to this and describes what happens in these words: "All of these, indeed, being versed in sacrifice, have their sins destroyed by these sacrifices. But he alone reaches union with the Supreme being who eats of the ambrosia left from a sacrifice." This means that the Hatha-Yoga practice represents the mere sacrifice itself, whereas the other kind is the ambrosia arising from the sacrifice, or "the perfection of spiritual cultivation," and that leads to Nirvana. The means for attaining the "perfection of spiritual cultivation" are found in Raj-Yoga, or, as we shall term it for the present, Culture of Concentration.

When concentration is perfected, we are in a position to use the knowledge that is ever within reach but which ordinarily eludes us continually. That which is usually called knowledge is only an intellectual comprehension of the outside, visible forms assumed by certain realities. Take what is called scientific knowledge of minerals and metals. This is merely a classification of material phenomena and an empirical acquisition. It knows what certain minerals and metals are useful for, and what some of their properties are. Gold is known to be pure, soft, yellow, and extremely ductile, and by a series of accidents it has been discovered to be useful in medicine and the arts. But even to this day there is a controversy, not wholly settled, as to whether gold is held mechanically or chemically in crude ore. Similarly with minerals. The crystalline forms are known and classified.

And yet a new theory has arisen, coming very near to the truth, that we do not know matter in reality in this way, but only apprehend certain phenomena presented to us by matter, and variously called, as the phenomena alter, gold, wood, iron, stone, and so on. But whether the minerals, metals, and vegetables have further properties that are only to be apprehended by still other and undeveloped senses, science will not admit. Passing from inanimate objects to the men and women about us, this ordinary intellectual knowledge aids us no more than before. We see bodies with different names and of different races, but below the outer phenomena our everyday intel-


lect will not carry us. This man we suppose to have a certain character assigned to him after experience of his conduct, but it is still only provisional, for none of us is ready to say that we know him either in his good or his bad qualities. We know there is more to him than we can see or reason about, but what, we cannot tell. It eludes us continually. And when we turn to contemplate ourselves, we are just as ignorant as we are about our fellow man. Out of this has arisen an old saying: "Every man knows what he is, but no one knows what he will be."

There must be in us a power of discernment, the cultivation of which will enable us to know whatever is desired to be known. That there is such a power is affirmed by teachers of occultism, and the way to acquire it is by cultivating concentration.

It is generally overlooked, or not believed, that the inner man who is the one to have these powers has to grow up to maturity, just as the body has to mature before its organs fulfill their functions fully. By inner man I do not mean the higher self ― the Ishwara before spoken of, but that part of us which is called soul, or astral man, or vehicle, and so on. All these terms are subject to correction, and should not be held rigidly to the meanings given by various writers. Let us premise, first, the body now visible; second, the inner man – not the spirit; and third, the spirit itself.

Now while it is quite true that the second―or inner man―has latent all the powers and peculiarities ascribed to the astral body, it is equally true that those powers are, in the generality of persons, still latent or only very partially developed.

This inner being is, so to say, inextricably entangled in the body, cell for cell and fibre for fibre. He exists in the body somewhat in the way the fibre of the mango fruit exists in the mango. In that fruit we have the inside nut with thousands of fine fibres spreading out from it through the yellow pulp around. And as you eat it, there is great difficulty in distin-


guishing the pulp from the fibre. So that the inner being of which we are speaking cannot do much when away from his body, and is always influenced by it. It is not therefore easy to leave the body at will and roam about in the double. The stories we hear of this as being so easily done may be put down to strong imagination, vanity, or other causes. One great cause for error in respect to these doubles is that a clairvoyant is quite likely to mistake a mere picture of the person's thought for the person himself. In fact, among occultists who know the truth, the stepping out of the body at will and moving about the world is regarded as a most difficult feat, and for the reasons above hinted at. Inasmuch as the person is so interwoven with his body, it is absolutely necessary, before he can take his astral form about the country, for him to first carefully extract it, fibre by fibre, from the surrounding pulp of blood, bones, mucous, bile, skin, and flesh. Is this easy? It is neither easy nor quick of accomplishment, nor all done at one operation. It has to be the result of years of careful training and numerous experiments. And it cannot be consciously done until the inner man has developed and cohered into something more than irresponsible and quivering jelly. This development and coherence are gained by perfecting the power of concentration.

Nor is it true, as the matter has been presented to me by experiment and teaching, that even in our sleep we go rushing about the country seeing our friends and enemies or tasting earthly joys at distant points. In all cases where the man has acquired some amount of concentration, it is quite possible that the sleeping body is deserted altogether, but such cases are as yet not in the majority.

Most of us remain quite close to our slumbering forms. It is not necessary for us to go away in order to experience the different states of consciousness which is the privilege of every man, but we do not go away over miles of country until we are able, and we cannot be able until the necessary ethereal body has been acquired and has learned how to use its powers.

Now, this ethereal body has its own organs which are the


essence or real basis of the senses described by men. The outer eye is only the instrument by which the real power of sight experiences that which relates to sight; the ear has its inner master - the power of hearing, and so on with every organ. These real powers within flow from the spirit to which we referred at the beginning of this paper. That spirit approaches the objects of sense by presiding over the different organs of sense. And whenever it withdraws itself the organs cannot be used. As when a sleep -walker moves about with open eyes which do not see anything, although objects are there and the different parts of the eye are perfectly normal and uninjured.

Ordinarily there is no demarcation to be observed between these inner organs and the outer; the inner ear is found to be too closely interknit with the outer to be distinguished apart. But when concentration has begun, the different inner organs begin to awake, as it were, and to separate themselves from the chains of their bodily counterparts. Thus the man begins to duplicate his powers. His bodily organs are not injured, but remain for use upon the plane to which they belong, and he is acquiring another set which he can use apart from the others in the plane of nature peculiarly theirs.

We find here and there cases where certain parts of this inner body have been by some means developed beyond the rest. Sometimes the inner head alone is developed, and we have one who can see or hear clairvoyantly or clairaudiently; again, only a hand is developed apart from the rest, all the other being nebulous and wavering. It may be a right hand, and it will enable the owner to have certain experiences that belong to the plane of nature to which the right hand belongs, say the positive side of touch and feeling.

But in these abnormal cases there are always wanting the results of concentration. They have merely protruded one portion, just as a lobster extrudes his eye on the end of the structure which carries it. Or take one who has thus curiously developed one of the inner eyes, say the left. This has a relation to a plane of nature quite different from that appertaining


to the hand, and the results in experience are just as diverse. He will be a clairvoyant of a certain order, only able to recognize that which relates to his one-sided development, and completely ignorant of many other qualities inherent in the thing seen or felt, because the proper organs needed to perceive them have had no development. He will be like a two-dimensional being who cannot possibly know that which three-dimensional beings know, or like ourselves as compared with four-dimensional entities.

In the course of the growth of this ethereal body several things are to be observed.

It begins by having a cloudy, wavering appearance, with certain centres of energy caused by the incipiency of organs that correspond to the brain, heart, lungs, spleen, liver, and so on. It follows the same course of development as a solar system, and is, in fact, governed and influenced by the very solar system to which the world belongs on which the being may be incarnate. With us it is governed by our own solar orb.

If the practice of concentration be kept up, this cloudy mass begins to gain coherence and to shape itself into a body with different organs. As they grow they must be used. Essays are to be made with them, trials, experiments. In fact, just as a child must creep before it can walk, and must learn walking before it can run, so this ethereal man must do the same. But as the child can see and hear much farther than it can creep or walk, so this being usually begins to see and to hear before it can leave the vicinity of the body on any lengthy journey.

Certain hindrances then begin to manifest themselves which, when properly understood by us, will give us good substantial reasons for the practicing of the several virtues enjoined in holy books and naturally included under the term of Universal Brotherhood.

One is that sometimes it is seen that this nebulous forming body is violently shaken, or pulled apart, or burst into fragments that at once have a tendency to fly back into the body and take on the same entanglement that we spoke of at first. This is caused by anger, and this is why the sages all dwell


upon the need of calmness. When the student allows anger to arise, the influence of it is at once felt by the ethereal body, and manifests itself in an uncontrollable trembling which begins at the centre and violently pulls apart the hitherto coherent particles. If allowed to go on it will disintegrate the whole mass, which will then reassume its natural place in the body. The effect following this is, that a long time has to elapse before the ethereal body can be again created. And each time this happens the result is the same. Nor does it make any difference what the cause for the anger may be. There is no such thing as having what is called "righteous anger" in this study and escaping these inevitable consequences. Whether your "rights" have been unjustly and flagrantly invaded or not does not matter. The anger is a force that will work itself out in its appointed way. Therefore anger must be strictly avoided, and it cannot be avoided unless charity and love―absolute toleration―are cultivated.

But anger may be absent and yet still another thing happen. The ethereal form may have assumed quite a coherence and definiteness. But it is observed that, instead of being pure and clear and fresh, it begins to take on a cloudy and disagreeable color, the precursor of putrefaction, which invades every part and by its effects precludes any further progress, and at last reacts upon the student so that anger again manifests itself. This is the effect of envy. Envy is not a mere trifle that produces no physical result. It has a powerful action, as strong in its own field as that of anger. It not only hinders the further development, but attracts to the student's vicinity thousands of malevolent beings of all classes that precipitate themselves upon him and wake up or bring on every evil passion. Envy, therefore, must be extirpated, and it cannot be got rid of as long as the personal idea is allowed to remain in us.

Another effect is produced on this ethereal body by vanity. Vanity represents the great illusion of nature. It brings up before the soul all sorts of erroneous or evil pictures, or both, and drags the judgment so away that once more anger or


envy will enter, or such course be pursued that violent destruction by outside causes falls upon the being. As in one case related to me. The man had made considerable progress, but at last allowed vanity to rule. This was followed by the presentation to his inner sight of most extraordinary images and ideas, which in their turn so affected him that he attracted to his sphere hordes of elementals seldom known to students and quite indescribable in English. These at last, as is their nature, laid siege to him, and one day produced all about the plane of his astral body an effect similar in some respects to that which follows an explosion of the most powerful explosive known to science. The consequence was, his ethereal form was so suddenly fractured that by repercussion the whole nature of the man was altered, and he soon died in a madhouse after having committed the most awful excesses.

And vanity cannot be avoided except by studiously cultivating that selflessness and poverty of heart advised as well by Jesus of Nazareth as by Buddha.

Another hindrance is fear. This is not, however, the worst of all, and is one that will disappear by means of knowledge, for fear is always the son of ignorance. Its effect on the ethereal form is to shrivel it up, or coagulate and contract it. But as knowledge increases, that contraction abates, permitting the person to expand. Fear is the same thing as frigidity on the earth, and always proceeds by the process of freezing.

In my next the subject will be further developed.

Path, July, 1888Ramatirtha



IT is now over one year since I sent in Part I to the Editor of the PATH. Since then I have heard that some students expressed a desire to read Part II, forgetting to observe, perhaps, that the first paper was complete in itself, and, if studied, with earnest practice to follow, would have led to beneficial results. It has not been necessary before to write No. II; and to the various students who so soon after reading the first have asked for the second I plainly say that you have been led away because a sequel was indicated and you cannot have studied the first; furthermore I much doubt if you will be benefited by this any more than by the other.

Success in the culture of concentration is not for him who sporadically attempts it. It is a thing that flows from "a firm position assumed with regard to the end in view, and unremittingly kept up." Nineteenth Century students are too apt to think that success in occultism can be reached as one attains success in school or college, by reading and learning printed words. A complete knowledge of all that was ever written upon concentration will confer no power in the practice of that about which I treat. Mere book knowledge is derided in this school as much as it is by the clodhopper; not that I think book knowledge is to be avoided, but that sort of acquisition without the concentration is as useless as faith


without works. It is called in some places, I believe, "mere eye-knowledge." Such indeed it is; and such is the sort of culture most respected in these degenerate times.

In starting these papers the true practice was called Raj Yoga. It discards those physical motions, postures, and recipes relating solely to the present personality, and directs the student to virtue and altruism as the bases from which to start. This is more often rejected than accepted. So much has been said during the last 1800 years about Rosicrucians, Egyptian Adepts, Secret Masters, Kaballah, and wonderful magical books, that students without a guide, attracted to these subjects, ask for information and seek in vain for the entrance to the temple of the learning they crave, because they say that virtue's rules are meant for babes and Sunday-schools, but not for them. And, in consequence, we find hundreds of books in all the languages of Europe dealing with rites, ceremonies, invocations, and other obscurities that will lead to nothing but loss of time and money. But few of these authors had anything save "mere eye-knowledge." 'Tis true they have sometimes a reputation, but it is only that accorded to an ignoramus by those who are more ignorant. The so-called great man, knowing how fatal to reputation it would be to tell how really small is his practical knowledge, prates about "projections and elementals," "philosopher's stone and elixir," but discreetly keeps from his readers the paucity of his acquirements and the insecurity of his own mental state. Let the seeker know, once for all, that the virtues cannot be discarded nor ignored; they must be made a part of our life, and their philosophical basis must be understood.

But it may be asked, if in the culture of concentration we will succeed alone by the practice of virtue. The answer is No, not in this life, but perhaps one day in a later life. The life of virtue accumulates much merit; that merit will at some time cause one to be born in a wise family where the real practice of concentration may perchance begin; or it may cause one to be born in a family of devotees or those far advanced on the Path, as said in Bhagavad-Gita. But such a birth as


this, says Krishna, is difficult to obtain; hence the virtues alone will not always lead in short space to our object.

We must make up our minds to a life of constant work upon this line. The lazy ones or they who ask for pleasure may as well give it up at the threshold and be content with the pleasant paths marked out for those who "fear God and honor the King." Immense fields of investigation and experiment have to be traversed; dangers unthought of and forces unknown are to be met; and all must be overcome, for in this battle there is no quarter asked or given. Great stores of knowledge must be found and seized. The kingdom of heaven is not to be had for the asking; it must be taken by violence. And the only way in which we can gain the will and the power to thus seize and hold is by acquiring the virtues on the one hand, and minutely understanding ourselves on the other. Some day we will begin to see why not one passing thought may be ignored, not one flitting impression missed. This we can perceive is no simple task. It is a gigantic work. Did you ever reflect that the mere passing sight of a picture, or a single word instantly lost in the rush of the world, may be basis for a dream that will poison the night and react upon the brain next day. Each one must be examined. If you have not noticed it, then when you awake next day you have to go back in memory over every word and circumstance of the preceding day, seeking, like the astronomer through space, for the lost one. And, similarly, without such a special reason, you must learn to be able to go thus backward into your days so as to go over carefully and in detail all that happened, all that you permitted to pass through the brain. Is this an easy matter?

But let us for a moment return to the sham adepts, the reputed Masters, whether they were well-intentioned or the reverse. Take Eliphas Lévi, who wrote so many good things, and whose books contain such masses of mysterious hints. Out of his own mouth he convicts himself. With great show he tells of the raising of the shade of Apollonius. Weeks beforehand all sorts of preparations had to be made, and on the


momentous night absurd necromantic performances were gone through. What was the result? Why only that the so-called shade appeared for a few moments, and Lévi says they never attempted it again. Any good medium of these days could call up the shade of Apollonius without preparation, and if Lévi were an Adept he could have seen the dead quite as easily as he turned to his picture in a book. By these sporadic attempts and outside preparations, nothing is really gained but harm to those who thus indulge. And the foolish dabbling by American theosophists with practices of the Yogis of India that are not one-eighth understood and which in themselves are inadequate, will lead to much worse results than the apocryphal attempt recorded by Eliphas Lévi.

As we have to deal with the Western mind now ours, all unused as it is to these things and over-burdened with false training and falser logic, we must begin where we are, we must examine our present possessions and grow to know our own present powers and mental machinery. This done, we may proceed to see ourselves in the way that shall bring about the best result.

Path, February, 1890Ramatirtha


NOT only in the Theosophical Society, but out of it, are tyros1 in Occultism. They are dabblers in a fine art, a mighty science, an almost impenetrable mystery. The motives that bring them to the study are as various as the number of individuals engaged in it, and as hidden from even themselves as is the center of the earth from the eye of science. Yet the motive is more important than any other factor.

These dilettanti in this science have always been abroad. No age or country has been without them, and they have left after them many books―of no particular value. Those of today are making them now, for the irresistible impulse of vanity drives them to collate the more or less unsound hypotheses of their predecessors, which, seasoned with a proper dash of mystery, are put forth to the crowd of those who would fain acquire wisdom at the cost-price of a book. Meanwhile the world of real occultists smiles silently, and goes on with the laborious process of sifting out the living germs from the masses of men. For occultists must be found and fostered and prepared for coming ages when power will be needed and pretension will go for nothing.

But the persons now writing about occultism and competent to do any more than repeat unproved formulae and assertions left over from mediaeval days, are few in number. It is very easy to construct a book full of so-called occultism taken from French or German books, and then to every now and then stop the reader short by telling him that it is not wise to reveal any more. The writings of Christian in France give


much detail about initiations into occultism, but he honestly goes no further than to tell what he has gained from Greek and Latin fragments. Others, however, have followed him, repeated his words without credit, and as usual halted at the explanation.

There are, again, others who, while asserting that there is magic science called occultism, merely advise the student to cultivate purity and spiritual aspirations, leaving it to be assumed that powers and knowledge will follow. Between these two, theosophists of the self-seeking or the unselfish type are completely puzzled. Those who are selfish may learn by bitter disappointment and sad experience; but the unselfish and the earnest need encouragement on the one hand and warning on the other. As an Adept wrote years ago to London Theosophists: "He who does not feel equal to the work need not undertake a task too heavy for him." This is applicable to all, for every one should be informed of the nature and heaviness of the task. Speaking of this tremendous thing―Occultism―Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita says: "During a considerable period of time this doctrine has been lost in the world This mystery is very important." We do not think that the doctrine has yet been restored to the world, albeit that it is in the keeping of living men―the Adepts. And in warning those who strive after occultism with a selfish motive he declares: "Confused by many worldly thoughts, surrounded by the meshes of bewilderment, devoted to the enjoyment of their desires, they descend to foul Naraka and hence they proceed to the lowest plane of being."

In what, then, does the heaviness of the Occultist's task consist? In the immensity of its sweep as well as the infinitude of its detail. Mere sweet and delightful longing after God will not of itself accomplish it, nor is progress found in aspiring to self-knowledge, even when as a result of that is found partial illumination. These are excellent; but we are talking of a problem whose implacable front yields to nothing but force, and that force must be directed by knowledge.

The field is not emotional, for the play of the emotions de-


stroys the equilibrium essential to the art. Work done calling for reward avails not unless it has produced knowledge.

A few examples will show that in Occult Science there is a vastness and also a multiplicity of division not suspected by theosophical Occultists in embryo.

The element of which fire is a visible effect is full of centres of force. Each one is ruled by its own law. The aggregate of centres and the laws governing them which produce certain physical results are classed by science as laws in physics, and are absolutely ignored by the book-making Occultist because he has no knowledge of them. No dreamer or even a philanthropist will ever as such know those laws. And so on with all the other elements.

The Masters of Occultism state that a law of "transmutation among forces" prevails forever. It will baffle any one who has not the power to calculate the value of even the smallest tremble of a vibration, not only in itself but instantly upon its collision with another, whether that other be similar to it or different. Modern science admits the existence of this law as the correlation of forces. It is felt in the moral sphere of our being as well as in the physical world, and causes remarkable changes in a man's character and circumstances quite beyond us at present and altogether unknown to science and metaphysics.

It is said that each person has a distinct mathematical value expressed by one number. This is a compound or resultant of numberless smaller values. When it is known, extraordinary effects may be produced not only in the mind of the person but also in his feelings, and this number may be discovered by certain calculations more recondite than those of our higher mathematics. By its use the person may be made angry without cause, and even insane or full of happiness, just as the operator desires.

There is a world of beings known to the Indians as that of the Devas, whose inhabitants can produce illusions of a character the description of which would throw our wildest romances


into the shade. They may last five minutes and seem as a thousand years, or they may extend over ten thousand actual years. Into this world the purest theosophist, the most spiritual man or woman, may go without consent, unless the knowledge and power are possessed which prevent it.

On the threshold of all these laws and states of being linger forces and beings of an awful and determined character. No one can avoid them, as they are on the road that leads to knowledge, and they are every now and then awakened or perceived by those who, while completely ignorant on these subjects, still persist in dabbling with charms and necromantic practices.

It is wiser for theosophists to study the doctrine of brotherhood and its application, to purify their motives and actions, so that after patient work for many lives, if necessary, in the great cause of humanity, they may at last reach that point where all knowledge and all power will be theirs by right.

Path, May, 1890Eusebio Urban


WE hear a good deal nowadays and are likely to hear still more of occult science. In this regard we may as well accept the inevitable. All things have their day, and all things revolve in cycles; they come and go, and come again, though never twice the same. Even our very thoughts conform to this universal law. The life, the teachings, and the fate of Pythagoras are involved in mystery, but the fate of the schools which he established and of the followers who succeeded him are matters of history. The slaughter of the Magi stands over against the abuses and abominations which are perpetrated in their name, and doubtless by many styling themselves Magicians.

It is not the object of this brief paper to attempt to define magic, or elucidate occult Science as such, but rather to suggest a few considerations which are of vital import at the present time, equally important to those who utterly deny to magic any more than an imaginative basis, as to those who convinced of its existence as a science, are, or are to become investigators. In both the publications and conversations of the day, frequently occur the expressions "black magic," and "white magic," and those who follow these studies are designated as followers of the "left hand path," or the "right hand path." It ought to be understood that up to a certain point all students of magic, or occultism, journey together. By and by is reached a place where two roads meet, or where the common path divides, and the awful voice from the silence, heard only in the recesses of the individual soul utters the stern command: "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." Instead of black and white magic, read, black and white motive.


The student of occultism is rushing on his destiny, but up to a certain point that destiny is in his own hands, though he is constantly shaping his course, freeing his soul from the trammels of sense and self, or becoming entangled in the web, which, with warp and woof will presently clothe him as with a garment without a seam.

If early in the race he finds it difficult to shake off his chains, let him remember that at every step they grow more and more tyrannical, and often before the goal is reached where the ways divide, the battle is lost or won, and the decision there is only a matter of form. That decision once made is irrevocable, or so nearly so that no exception need be made. Man lives at once in two worlds: the natural and the spiritual, and as in the natural plane he influences his associates, and is in turn influenced by them, so let him not imagine that in the spiritual plane he is alone. This will be a fatal mistake for the dabbler in magic, or the student in occultism. Throughout this vast universe, the good will seek the good, and the evil the evil, each will be unconsciously drawn to its own kind.

But when man faces his destiny in full consciousness of the issues involved, as he must before the final decision is reached, he will be no longer unconscious of these influences, but will recognize his companions: companions, alas! no longer, Masters now, inhuman, pitiless; and the same law of attraction which has led him along the tortuous path, unveils its face, and by affinity of evil, the slave stands in the presence of his master, and the fiends that have all along incited him to laugh at the miseries of his fellow men, and trample under his feet every kindly impulse, every tender sympathy, now make the measureless hells within his own soul resound with their laughter at him, the poor deluded fool whose selfish pride and ambition have stifled and at last obliterated his humanity.

Blind indeed is he who cannot see why those who are in possession of arcane wisdom, hesitate in giving it out to the world, and when in the cycles of time its day has come, they put forth the only doctrine which has power to save and bless, UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD, with all that the term implies.


There may be those who have already in this new era, entered the left-hand road. But now as of old, "by their works ye shall know them." To labor with them is in vain. Selfishness, pride and lust for power are the signs by which we may know them. They may not at once cast off disguise, and they will never deceive the true Theosophist. They can nevertheless deceive to their ruin the ignorant, the curious, the unwary, and it is for such as these that these lines are penned, and the worst of it is, that these poor deluded souls, are led to believe that no such danger exists, and this belief is fortified by the so-called scientists, who are quoted as authority, and who ridicule everything but rank materialism. Yet notwithstanding all this, these simple souls flutter like moths around the flame till they are drawn within the vortex. It is better a million times, that the proud, the selfish and time-serving should eat, drink and be merry, and let occultism alone, for these propensities unless speedily eradicated, will bear fruit and ripen into quick harvests, and the wages thereof is death, literally the "second death."

The purpose of Theosophy is to eradicate these evil tendencies of man, so that whether on the ordinary planes of daily life, or in the higher occult realms, the Christ shall be lifted up, and draw all men unto him.

Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn.

The Christs of all the ages have preached this one doctrine: Charity and Brotherhood of Man. To deny the law of charity is to deny the Christ. The Theosophical Society is not responsible for unveiling to the present generation the occult nature of man. Modern Spiritualism had already done this; nor is the responsibility to be charged to the Spiritualists, for these unseen forces had revealed themselves in the fullness of time, and many millions had become convinced, many against their wills, of the reality of the unseen universe. These things are here, and neither crimination, or recrimination is of any use. The responsibility therefore, rests entirely with the individual, as to what use he makes of his opportunities, as to his pur-


poses and aims, and as he advances in his course, involved in the circle of necessity, he influences whether he will or no, those whose spheres of life touch at any point his own. As ye sow, so shall ye also reap. By and by the cycle will close and both the evil and the good will return like bread cast upon the waters. This is a law of all life.

Imagine not that they are weak and vacillating souls who enter the left-hand road: Lucifer was once a prince of light, admitted to the councils of the Most High. He fell through pride, and dragged downward in his fall all who worshipped the demon pride. This is no foolish fable, but a terrible tragedy, enacted at the gates of paradise, in the face of the assembled universe, and reenacted in the heart of man, the epitome of all. Only Infinite pity can measure the downfall of such an one, only Infinite love disarm by annihilation, and so put an end to unendurable woe, and that only when the cycle is complete, the measure of iniquity balanced by its measure of pain. Occultism and magic are not child's-play, as many may learn to their sorrow, as many visitants of dark circles have already and long ago discovered. Better give dynamite to our children as a plaything, than Magic to the unprincipled, the thoughtless, the selfish and ignorant. Let all who have joined the Theosophical Society remember this, and search their hearts before taking the first step in any magical formulary. The motive determines all. Occult power brings with it unknown and unmeasured responsibility.

If in the secret councils of the soul, where no eye can see, and no thought deceive that divine spark conscience, we are ready to forget self, to forego pride, and labor for the well-being of man, then may the upright man face his destiny, follow this guide and fear no evil. Otherwise it were far better that a millstone were hung about his neck, and he were cast into the depths of the sea.

Path, March, 1887Pythagoras


THERE are thousands of people in the United States, as well in the ranks of the Society as outside, who believe that there are certain extraordinary occult powers to be encompassed by man. Such powers as thought reading, seeing events yet to come, unveiling the motives of others, apportation of objects, and the like, are those most sought after, and nearly all desired with a selfish end in view. The future is inquired into so as to enable one to speculate in stocks and another to circumvent competitors. These longings are pandered to here and there by men and societies who hold out delusive hopes to their dupes that, by the payment of money, the powers of nature may be invoked.

Even some of our own members have not been guiltless of seeking after such wonderful fruit of knowledge with those who would barter the Almighty, if they could, for gold.

Another class of earnest theosophists, however, have taken a different ground. They have thought that certain Adepts who really possess power over nature, who can both see and hear through all space, who can transport solid objects through space and cause written messages to appear at a distance with beautiful sounds of astral bells, ought to intervene, and by the exercise of the same power make these earnest disciples hear sounds ordinarily called occult, and thus easily transmit information and help without the aid of telegraph or mail-boat. But that these Beings will not do this has been stated over and over again; for the kingdom of heaven is not given away, it must be "taken by violence." It lies there before us to be entered upon and occupied, but that can be only after


a battle which, when won, entitles the victor to remain in undisturbed possession.

As many have seemed to forget these rules, I thought it well to offer them the following words from one of those very Adepts they seek to meet:

The educing of the faculty of hearing occult sounds would be not at all the easy matter you imagine. It was never done to any one of us, for the iron rule is that what powers one gets he must himself acquire, and when acquired and ready for use, the powers lie dumb and dormant in their potentiality like the wheels in a music box, and only then it is easy to wind the key and start them Yet every earnestly-disposed man may acquire such powers practically; that is the finality of it. There are no more distinctions of persons in this than there are as to whom the sun shall shine upon or the air give vitality to. There are powers of all nature before you; take what you can.

This is perfectly clear and strictly according to the Secret Canon. "When the materials are all prepared and ready, the architect shall appear"; and when we have acquired the powers we seek, by educing them ourselves from our inner being, the Master will then be ready and able to start into exercise that which we have obtained.

But―even here is an important point. If the Master can, so to say, wind the key and thus start the machinery, He can also refuse to give the necessary impulse. For reasons that have to do with the motives and life of students, it may be advisable for a while not to permit the exercise of these powers which "lie dumb and dormant in their potentiality." To sanction their use might in one lead to the ruin of other lives, or in another to personal disaster and retardation of true progress.

Therefore the Master says that quite often he may not only refuse to give the start, but yet further may prevent the wheels from moving.

There are the powers of all nature before you; take what you can.

Path, February, 1889Rodriguez Undiano


Its Purpose And Place In Magic

THE word “glamour” was long ago defined in old dictionaries as “witchery or a charm on the eyes, making them see things differently from what they really are.” This is still the meaning of the word. Not long ago, before the strange things possible in hypnotic experiments became known to the Western world, it seemed as if everything would be reduced to mere matter and motion by the fiat of science. Witchery was to fade away, be forgotten, be laughed out of sight, and what could not be ascribed to defective training of the senses was to have its explanation in the state of the liver, a most prosaic organ. But before science with its speculation and ever-altering canons could enlighten the unlearned multitude, hypnotism crept slowly and surely forward and at last began to buttress the positions of theosophy. Glamour stands once more a fair chance for recognition. Indeed, H. P. B. uttered prophetic words when she said that in America more than anywhere else this art would be practiced by selfish men for selfish purposes, for money-getting and gratification of desire.

Hurriedly glancing over some fields of folk-lore, see what a mass of tales bearing on glamour produced by men, gods, or elementals. In India the gods every now and then, often the sages, appear before certain persons in various guises by means of a glamour which causes the eye to see what is not really there. In Ireland volumes of tales in which the person sees houses, men, and animals where they are not; he is suddenly given the power to see under the skin of natural things, and then perceives the field or the market-place full of fairies,


men, and women gliding in and out among the people. Anon a man or woman is changed into the appearance of animal or bird, and only regains the old semblance when touched with the magic rod. This change of appearance is not a change in fact, but always a glamour affecting the eyes of the other person. Such a mass of similar stories found during all time and among every people cannot be due to folly nor be without a basis. The basis is a fact and a law in man’s nature. It is glamour, the reason for glamour, and the power to bring it about. Just because there have always been those who, either by natural ability or training, had the power to bring on a witchery over the eyes,” these stories have arisen.

A writer well known in England and America once thought he had found a mare’s nest when he reported that Mme. Blavatsky had confessed to him that certain phenomena he enquired of had been caused by glamour.

“Ah, glamour!” he said; “thus falls this theosophic house of cards”; and he went away satisfied, for in truth he had been himself thoroughly glamoured. But theosophists should not stumble and fall violently as this gentleman did over a word which, when enquired into, carries with it a good deal of science relating to an important branch of occultism. When I read in an issue of the Arena all about this confession on glamour, I was quite ready to believe that H. P. B. did say to the learned enquirer what he reported, but at the same time, of course, knew that she never intended to apply her enchantment explanation to every phenomenon. She only intended to include certain classes,—although in every occult phenomenon there is some glamour upon some of the observers according to their individual physical idiosyncrasies.

The classes of phenomena covered by this word are referred to in part by Patanjali in his Yoga Aphorisms, where he says that if the luminousness natural to object and eye is interfered with the object will disappear, whether it be man or thing and whether it be day or night. This little aphorism covers a good deal of ground, and confutes, if accepted, some theories of the day. It declares, in fact, that not only is it


necessary for rays of light to proceed from the object to the eye, but also light must also proceed from the eye towards the object. Cut off the latter and the object disappears; alter the character of the luminousness coming from the eye, and the object is altered in shape or color for the perceiver.

Carrying this on further and connecting it with the well-known fact that we see no objects whatever, but only their ideal form as presented to the mind, and we arrive at an explanation in part of how glamour may be possible. For if in any way you can interfere with the vibrations proceeding to the eye on the way to affect the brain and then the percipient within, then you have the possibility of sensibly altering the ideal form which the mind is to cognize within before it declares the object to be without which produced the vibration.

Take up now imagination in its aspect of a power to make a clear and definite image. This is done in hypnotism and in spiritualism. If the image be definite enough and the perceiver or subject sensitive enough, a glamour will be produced. The person will see that which is not the normal shape or form or corporature of the other. But this new shape is as real as the normal, for the normal form is but that which is to last during a certain stage of human evolution and will certainly alter as new senses and organs develop in us.

Thus far having gone, is it not easy to see that if a person can make the definite and vivid mind-pictures spoken of, and if the minor organs can affect and be affected, it is quite probable and possible that trained persons may have glamoured the eyes of others so to make them see an elephant, snake, man, tree, pot, or any other object where only is empty space, or as an alteration of a thing or person actually there? This is exactly what is done in experiments by the hypnotists, with this difference, that they have to put the subject into an abnormal state, while the other operators need no such adventitious aids. Glamour, then, has a very important place in magic. That it was frequently used by H. P. B. there is not the smallest doubt, just as there is no doubt that the yogee in India puts the same power into operation.


In many cases she could have used it by making the persons present think they saw her when she had gone into the next room, or that another person was also present who was not in fact. The same power of glamour would permit her to hide from sight any object in the room or in her hands. This is one of the difficult feats of magic, and not in the slightest degree dependent on legerdemain. Persons sometimes say this is folly even if true, but looked at in another light it is no folly, nor are the cases those in which anyone was entitled to know all that was going on. She exhibited these feats — seldom as it was—for the purpose of showing those who were learning from her that the human subject is a complicated and powerful being, not to be classed, as science so loves to do, with mere matter and motion. All these phenomena accomplished two objects. First, to help those who learned from her, and second, to spread abroad again in the west the belief in man’s real power and nature. The last was a most necessary thing to do because in the West materialism was beginning to have too much sway and threatened to destroy spirituality. And it was done also in pursuance of the plans of the Great Lodge for the human race. As one of her Masters said, her phenomena puzzled sceptics for many years. Even now we see the effects, for when such men as Stead, the Editor of the Review of Reviews, and Du Prel, Schiaparelli, and others take up the facts of Spiritualism scientifically, one can perceive that another day for psychology is dawning.

This power of glamour is used more often than people think, and not excluding members of the T. S., by the Adepts. They are often among us from day to day appearing in a guise we do not recognize, and are dropping ideas into men’s minds about the spiritual world and the true life of the soul, as well as also inciting men and women to good acts. By this means they pass unrecognized and are able to accomplish more in this doubting and transition age than they could in any other way. Sometimes as they pass they are recognized by those who have the right faculty, but a subtle and powerful bond and agreement prevents their secret from being divulged.


This is something for members of the Society to think of, for they may be entertaining now and then angels unawares. They may now and then be tried by their leaders when they least expect it, and the verdict is not given out but has its effect all the same.

But glamour covers only a small part of the field of occultism. The use of the astral body enters into nearly all of the phenomena, and in other directions the subject of occult chemistry, absolutely unknown to the man of the day, is of the utmost importance; if it is ever given out it will be a surprise to science, but certainly that divulgation will not soon be to such a selfish age.

Path, May, 1893William Brehon



PERHAPS those who have engaged in discussions about whether it is more advisable to become acquainted with the Astral Plane and to see therein than to study the metaphysics and ethics of theosophy, may be aided by the experience of a fellow student. For several years I studied about and experimented on the Astral Light to the end that I might, if possible, develop the power to look therein and see those marvelous pictures of that place which tempt the observer. But although in some degrees success followed my efforts so far as seeing these strange things was concerned, I found no increase of knowledge as to the manner in which the pictures were made visible, nor as to the sources from which they arose. A great many facts were in my possession, but the more I accumulated the farther away from perception seemed the law governing them. I turned to a teacher and he said:

"Beware of the illusions of matter."

"But," said I, "is this matter into which I gaze?"

"Yes; and of grosser sort than that which composes your body; full of illusions, swarming with beings inimical to progress, and crowded with the thoughts of all the wicked who have lived."

"How," replied I, "am I to know aught about it unless I investigate it?"

"It will be time enough to do that when you shall have been equipped properly for the exploration. He who ventures into a strange country unprovided with needful supplies, with-


out a compass and unfamiliar with the habits of the people, is in danger. Examine and see."

Left thus to myself, I sought those who had dabbled in the Astral Light, who were accustomed to seeing the pictures therein every day, and asked them to explain. Not one had any theory, any philosophical basis. All were confused and at variance each with the other. Nearly all, too, were in hopeless ignorance as to other and vital questions. None were self-contained or dispassionate; moved by contrary winds of desire, each one appeared abnormal; for, while in possession of the power to see or hear in the Astral Light, there were unregulated in all other departments of their being. Still more, they seemed to be in a degree intoxicated with the strangeness of the power, for it placed them in that respect above other persons, yet in practical affairs left them without any ability.

Examining more closely, I found that all these "seers" were but half-seers-and hardly even that. One could hear astral sounds but could not see astral sights; another saw pictures, but no sound or smell was there; still others saw symbols only, and each derided the special power of the other. Turning even to the great Emanuel Swedenborg, I found a seer of wonderful power, but whose constitution made him see in the Astral world a series of pictures which were solely an extension of his own inherited beliefs. And although he had had a few visions of actual everyday affairs occurring at a distance, there were so few as only to be remarkable.

One danger warned against by the teacher was then plainly evident. It was the danger of becoming confused and clouded in mind by the recurrence of pictures which had no salutary effect so far as experience went. So again I sought the teacher and asked:

"Has the Astral Light no power to teach, and, if not, why is it thus? And are there other dangers than what I have discovered?"

"No power whatever has the astral plane, in itself, to teach you. It contains the impressions made by men in their ignorance and folly. Unable to arouse the true thoughts, they con-


tinue to infect that light with the virus of their unguided lives. And you, or any other seer, looking therein will warp and distort all that you find there. It will present to you pictures that partake largely of your own constitutional habits, weaknesses, and peculiarities. Thus you only see a distorted or exaggerated copy of yourself. It will never teach you the reason of things, for it knows them not.

"But stranger dangers than any you have met are there when one goes further on. The dweller of the threshold is there, made up of all the evil that man has done. None can escape its approach, and he who is not prepared is in danger of death, of despair, or of moral ruin. Devote yourself, therefore, to spiritual aspiration and to true devotion, which will be a means for you to learn the causes that operate in nature, how they work, and what each one works upon."

I then devoted myself as he had directed, and discovered that a philosophical basis, once acquired, showed clearly how to arrive at dispassion and made exercise therein easy. It even enables me to clear up the thousand doubts that assail those others who are peering into the Astral Light. This too is the old practice enjoined by the ancient schools from which our knowledge about the Astral Light is derived. They compelled the disciple to abjure all occult practices until such time as he had laid a sure foundation of logic, philosophy, and ethics; and only then was he permitted to go further in that strange country from which many an unprepared explorer has returned bereft of truth and sometimes despoiled of reason. Further, I know that the Masters of the Theosophical Society have written these words: "Let the Theosophical Society flourish through moral worth and philosophy, and give up the pursuit of phenomena." Shall we be greater than They, and ignorantly set the pace upon the path that leads to ruin?

Path, July, 1890Bryan Kinnavan



MY attention has been arrested by the address delivered in the Adyar course by Dr. Daly and reported in the September Theosophist. It is entitled "Clairvoyance."

Coming out in the Adyar course, it has a certain flavor of authority which will appeal to many members of the Society and may cause them to adopt the suggestions for practice given in the latter part of the address. Yet at the same time it is very true that the Theosophical Society is not responsible for the utterances of members in their private capacity.

The fact that clairvoyance is a power sought after by many persons cannot be disputed, but the questions, Is it well to try to develop clairvoyance? and Shall we teach it? have not yet been definitely decided. Hence I may be permitted to give my views upon them.

At the outset I desire to declare my personal attitude on these questions and my beliefs as to facts. In using the term "clairvoyance" I intend to include in it all clear perception on that plane.

  1. I have for many years been convinced by proofs furnished by others and from personal experience that clairvoyance is a power belonging to man's inner nature; and also that it is possessed by the animal kingdom.
  2. This faculty is either inherited or educed by practice.
  3. Those who have it by birth are generally physically diseased or nervously deranged. The cases where clairvoyance is shown by a perfectly healthy and well-balanced person are rare.
  1. The records of spiritualism for over forty years in America conclusively prove that clairvoyance cannot be safely sought after by persons who have no competent guide; that its pursuit has done harm; and that almost every medium to whom one puts the question "Am I able to develop clairvoyance?" will reply "Yes."
  2. There are no competent guides in this pursuit to be found here or in Europe who are willing to teach one how to acquire it without danger.
  3. The qualifications such a guide should possess render the finding of one difficult if not impossible. They are: the power to look within and see clearly the whole inner nature of the student; a complete knowledge of all the planes upon which clairvoyance acts, including knowledge of the source, the meaning, and the effect of all that is perceived by the clairvoyant; and last, but not least, the power to stop at will the exercise of the power. Evidently these requirements call for an adept.

Who are the teachers of clairvoyance, and those who advise that it be practiced? In the main, the first are mediums, and any investigator knows how little they know.

Every one of them differs from every other in his powers. The majority have only one sort of clairvoyance; here and there are some who combine, at most, three classes of the faculty. Not a single one is able to mentally see behind the image or idea perceived, and cannot say in a given case whether the image seen is the object itself or the result of a thought from another mind. For in these planes of perception the thoughts of men become as objective as material objects are to our human eyes. It is true that a clairvoyant can tell you that what is being thus perceived is not apprehended by the physical eye, but beyond that he cannot go. Of this I have had hundreds of examples. In 99 out of 100 instances the seer mistook the thought from another mind for a clairvoyant perception of a living person or physical object.

The seers of whom I speak see always according to their inner tendency, which is governed by subtle laws of heredity


which are wholly unknown to scientific men and much more to mediums and seers. One will only reach the symbolic plane; another that which is known to occultists as the positive side of sound; another to the negative or positive aspects of the epidermis and its emanations; and so on through innumerable layer after layer of clairvoyance and octave after octave of vibrations. They all know but the little they have experienced, and for any other person to seek to develop the power is dangerous. The philosophy of it all, the laws that cause the image to appear and disappear, are terra incognita.

The occult septenary scheme in nature with all its modifications produces multiple effects, and no mere clairvoyant is able to see the truth that underlies the simplest instance of clairvoyant perception. If a man moves from one chair to another, immediately hundreds of possibilities arise for the clairvoyant eye, and he alone who is a highly trained and philosophical seer―an adept, in short―can combine them all so as to arrive at true clear-perception. In the simple act described almost all the centres of force in the moving being go into operation, and each one produces its own peculiar effect in the astral light. At once the motion made and thoughts aroused elicit their own sound, color, motion in ether, amount of etheric light, symbolic picture, disturbance of elemental forces, and so on through the great catalogue. Did but one wink his eye, the same effects follow in due order. And the seer can perceive but that which attunes itself to his own development and personal peculiarities, all limited in force and degree.

What, may I ask, do clairvoyants know of the law of prevention or encrustation which is acting always with many people? Nothing, absolutely nothing. How do they explain those cases where, try as they will, they cannot see anything whatever regarding certain things? Judging from human nature and the sordidness of many schools of clairvoyance, are we not safe in affirming that if there were any real or reliable clairvoyance about us now-a-days among those who offer to teach it or take pay for it, long ago fortunes would


have been made by them, banks despoiled, lost articles found, and friends more often reunited? Admitting that there have been sporadic instances of success on these lines, does not the exception prove that true clairvoyance is not understood or likely to be?

But what shall theosophists do? Stop all attempts at clairvoyance. And why? Because it leads them slowly but surely―almost beyond recall―into an interior and exterior passive state where the will is gradually overpowered and they are at last in the power of the demons who lurk around the threshold of our consciousness. Above all, follow no advice to "sit for development." Madness lies that way. The feathery touches which come upon the skin while trying these experiments are said by mediums to be the gentle touches of "the spirits." But they are not. They are caused by the ethereal fluids from within us making their way out through the skin and thus producing the illusion of a touch. When enough has gone out, then the victim is getting gradually negative, the future prey for spooks and will-o'-the-wisp images.

"But what," they say, "shall we pursue and study?" Study the philosophy of life, leave the decorations that line the road of spiritual development for future lives, and―practice altruism.

Path, December, 1890William Q. Judge


SOME years ago it was proposed that psychometry should be used in detecting crime and for the exposing of motive in all transactions between man and man. This, the alleged discoverer said, would alter the state of society by compelling people to be honest and by reducing crime. Now for those who do not know, it may be well to say that when you psychometrize you take any object that has been in the immediate vicinity of any person or place of any action, or the writing of another, and by holding it to your forehead or in the hand a picture of the event, the writer, the surroundings, and the history of the object, comes before your mental eye with more or less accuracy. Time and distance are said to make no difference, for the wrapping from a mummy has been psychometrized by one who knew nothing about it, and the mummy with its supposed history accurately described. Letters also have been similarly treated without reading them, and not only their contents given but also the unexpressed thoughts and the surroundings of the writers. Clairvoyants have also on innumerable occasions given correct descriptions of events and persons they could never have seen or known. But other innumerable times they have failed.

Without doubt if the city government, or any body of people owning property that can be stolen, had in their employment a man or woman who could declare beyond possibility of ever failing where any stolen article was, and who stole it, and could in advance indicate a purpose on the part of another to steal, to trick, to lie, or otherwise do evil, one of two things would happen. Either criminals or intending offenders would abide elsewhere, or some means of getting rid


of the clear-seer would be put into effect. Looking at the alluring possibilities of clairvoyance so far as it is understood, many persons have sighed for its power for several different reasons. Some would use it for the purposes described, but many another has thought of it merely as a new means for furthering personal ends.

Its delusions are so manifold that, although mystical and psychical subjects have obtained in the public mind a new standing, clairvoyance will not be other than a curiosity for some time, and when its phenomena and laws are well understood no reliance greater than now will be placed upon it. And even when individual clairvoyants of wonderful power are known, they will not be accessible for such uses, because, having reached their power by special training, the laws of their school will prohibit the exercise of the faculty at the bidding of selfish interest, whether on the one side or the other.

If it were not always a matter of doubt and difficulty, natural clear-seers would have long ago demonstrated the unerring range of their vision by discovering criminals still uncaught, by pointing out where stolen property could be recovered, by putting a finger on a moral plague-spot which is known to exist but cannot be located. Yet this they have not done, and careful Theosophists are confirmed in the old teaching that the field of clairvoyance is full of delusions. Coming evil could in the same way be averted, since present error is the prelude and cause of future painful results.

The prime cause for delusion is that the thought of anything makes around the thinker an image of the thing thought about. And all images in this thought-field are alike, since we remember an object by our thought-image of it, and not by carrying the object in our heads. Hence the picture in our aura of what we have seen in the hands of another is of the same sort―for untrained seers―as our ideas on the subject of events in which we have not participated. So a clairvoyant may, and in fact does, mistake these thought-pictures one for the other, thus reducing the chances of certainty. If an


anxious mother imagines her child in danger and with vivid thought pictures the details of a railway accident, the picture the seer may see will be of something that never happened and is only the product of emotion or imagination.

Mistakes in identity come next. These are more easily made in the astral plane, which is the means for clairvoyance, than even upon the visible one, and will arise from numerous causes. So numerous and complex is this that to fully explain it would not only be hopeless but tedious. For instance, the person, say at a distance, to whom the clairvoyant eye is directed may look entirely different from reality, whether as to clothing or physiognomy. He may, in the depths of winter, appear clad in spring clothing, and your clairvoyant report that, adding probably that it symbolizes something next spring. But, in fact, the spring clothing was due to his thoughts about a well-worn comfortable suit of this sort throwing a glamour of the clothing before the vision of the seer. Some cases exactly like this I have known and verified. Or the lover, dwelling on the form and features of his beloved, or the criminal upon the one he has wronged, will work a protean change and destroy identification.

Another source of error will be found in the unwitting transfer to the clairvoyant of your own thoughts, much altered either for better or worse. Or even the thoughts of some one else whom you have just met or heard from. For if you consult the seer on some line of thought, having just read the ideas on the same subject of another who thinks very strongly and very clearly, and whose character is overmastering, the clairvoyant will ten to one feel the influence of the other and give you his ideas.

Reversion of image is the last I will refer to. It has been taught always in the unpopular school of Theosophy that the astral light reverses the images, just as science knows the image on the retina is not upright. Not only have the Cabalists said this, but also the Eastern schools, and those who now have studied these doctrines along Theosophical lines have discovered it to be a fact. So the untrained clairvoyant may see a


number or amount backwards, or an object upside down in whole or in part. The reliance we can place on the observations of untrained people in ordinary life the scientific schools and courts of law have long ago discovered; but seekers after the marvellous carelessly accept the observations of those who must be equally untrained in the field of clairvoyance. Of course there are many genuine cases of good clear-seeing, but the mass are not to be relied on. The cultivation of psychic senses is more difficult than any physical gymnastics, and the number of really trained clairvoyants in the Western world may be described by a nought written to the left.

Path, July, 1892M. MORE


THERE is such a thing as being intoxicated in the course of an unwise pursuit of what we erroneously imagine is spirituality. In the Christian Bible it is very wisely directed to "prove all" and to hold only to that which is good; this advice is just as important to the student of occultism who thinks that he has separated himself from those "inferior" people engaged either in following a dogma or in tipping tables for messages from deceased relatives―or enemies―as it is to spiritists who believe in the "summerland" and "returning spirits."

The placid surface of the sea of spirit is the only mirror in which can be caught undisturbed the reflections of spiritual things. When a student starts upon the path and begins to see spots of light flash out now and then, or balls of golden fire roll past him, it does not mean that he is beginning to see the real Self―pure spirit. A moment of deepest peace or wonderful revealings given to the student, is not the awful moment when one is about to see his spiritual guide, much less his own soul. Nor are psychical splashes of blue flame, nor visions of things that afterwards come to pass, nor sights of small sections of the astral light with its wonderful photographs of past or future, nor the sudden ringing of distant fairy-like bells, any proof that you are cultivating spirituality. These things, and still more curious things, will occur when you have passed a little distance on the way, but they are only the mere outposts of a new land which is itself wholly material, and only one remove from the plane of gross physical consciousness.


The liability to be carried off and intoxicated by these phenomena is to be guarded against. We should watch, note and discriminate in all these cases; place them down for future reference, to be related to some law, or for comparison with other circumstances of a like sort. The power that Nature has of deluding us is endless, and if we stop at these matters she will let us go no further. It is not that any person or power in nature has declared that if we do so and so we must stop, but when one is carried off by what Boehme calls "God's wonders," the result is an intoxication that produces confusion of the intellect. Were one, for instance, to regard every picture seen in the astral light as a spiritual experience, he might truly after a while brook no contradiction upon the subject, but that would be merely because he was drunk with this kind of wine. While he proceeded with his indulgence and neglected his true progress, which is always dependent upon his purity of motive and conquest of his known or ascertainable defects, nature went on accumulating the store of illusory appearances with which he satiated himself.

It is certain that any student who devotes himself to these astral happenings will see them increase. But were our whole life devoted to and rewarded by an enormous succession of phenomena, it is also equally certain that the casting off of the body would be the end of all that sort of experience, without our having added really anything to our stock of true knowledge.

The astral plane, which is the same as that of our psychic senses, is as full of strange sights and sounds as an untrodden South American forest, and has to be well understood before the student can stay there long without danger. While we can overcome the dangers of a forest by the use of human inventions, whose entire object is the physical destruction of the noxious things encountered there, we have no such aids when treading the astral labyrinth. We may be physically brave and say that no fear can enter into us, but no untrained or merely curious seeker is able to say just what effect will result to his outer senses from the attack or influence encountered


by the psychical senses.

And the person who revolves selfishly around himself as a center is in greater danger of delusion than any one else, for he has not the assistance that comes from being united in thought with all other sincere seekers. One may stand in a dark house where none of the objects can be distinguished and quite plainly see all that is illuminated outside; in the same way we can see from out of the blackness of our own house―our hearts―the objects now and then illuminated outside by the astral light; but we gain nothing. We must first dispel the inner darkness before trying to see into the darkness without; we must know ourselves before knowing things extraneous to ourselves.

This is not the road that seems easiest to students. Most of them find it far pleasanter and, as they think, faster work, to look on all these outside allurements, and to cultivate all psychic senses, to the exclusion of real spiritual work.

The true road is plain and easy to find, it is so easy that very many would-be students miss it because they cannot believe it to be so simple.

"The way lies through the heart";
Ask there and wander not;
Knock loud, nor hesitate
Because at first the sounds
Reverberating, seem to mock thee.
Nor, when the door swings wide,
Revealing shadows black as night,
Must thou recoil.
Within, the Master's messengers
Have waited patiently:
That Master is Thyself!

Path, October, 1887


IN the last three numbers of the PATH we have given a story by the German Mystic Kernning of the experiences of a sensitive. The story is called advisedly "From Sensitive to Initiate." We did not think that it was intended to show what the final initiation is, but only one of the many initiations we have to undergo in our passage through matter. The trials of Caroline illustrate those we all have, whether we know them as such or not. She had a presence to annoy her; we, although not sensitive as she was, have within us influences and potential presences that affect us just as much; they cause us to have bias this way or that, to be at times clouded in our estimate of what is the true course or the true view to take, and, like her, so long as we do not recognise the cause of the clouds, we will be unable to dissipate them. But Kernning was a theosophist, and one of those men who knew the truth in theory and at the same time were able to make a practical application of what they knew. There are many cases today in which sensitive people do just what Caroline did and have "presences" to annoy them; but how many of our theosophists or spiritualists would be able to cast the supposed obsesser out, as Mohrland did in the story? They can be counted on one hand. The simplicity with which Kernning wrote should not blind us to the value of his work. In the preceding articles by him which we have from time to time given, there is much to be learned by those who look below the surface. We therefore add the following as a note to the last story in order to try to show its theosophic meaning.

The conversation about "Mantrams" between the Sage and the Student in the PATH for August involves an occult truth


so important that it is worth while to recall that the power of mantrams is recognized by the school of German occultists represented by Kernning. Readers of the PATH who have attentively read "Some Teachings of a German Mystic" have observed that in nearly all instances the pupils achieve an awakening of their inner self, or the "spiritual rebirth," by means of a particular word, a sentence, or perhaps even a letter of the alphabet, and that, in cases where persons are involuntarily awakened, it is by continued thinking upon some object or person, as in the case of the young sailor whose mind was continually dwelling on his absent sweetheart and was thereby released from the limitations of his own personality. Caroline Ruppert was aroused by a morbid dwelling on her disappointment in love and by remorse for her conduct towards her invalid mother, until these thoughts gained a mantric power over her, and it required intelligent exercise with other mantrams, given her by the Adept Mohrland, to restore her self-control and give her a symmetrical development. Out of a medium, or mere sensitive, she thus became an initiate, able to control the psychic forces by her own will. Every hapless "medium" who is obsessed by elementals and elementaries that make life a torment and who is compelled to do the bidding of these forces generated by personal vitality, and whose conflict obscures the true self―like a spring whose waters, finding no adequate channel, rise to the level of their source and thus drown it―, has it in his or her power, by intelligent exercise of the will, to obtain command over what they are now obliged to obey. But, in doing this, "right motive" must be kept constantly in view; care must be exercised to keep absolutely free from all mercenary or other selfish considerations, else one will become a black magician. The condition known as "mediumship" has been the subject of too much indiscriminate condemnation; it can be made a blessing as well as a curse, and the aim should be, not to suppress it, but to develop it in the right direction. The psychic powers, like all other natural forces, can be made either a good servant or a terrible master, and, in proportion to their subtlety as compared with other forces, so much greater is their power


for good or for evil.

In psychic work the power of united endeavor has often been emphasized, and it is easy to see that the power is developed whether consciously or unconsciously exercised. Thus, with thousands thinking unitedly in one direction, as in the present Theosophical awakening, they all help each other, lending strength to each other's will, whether they are aware of it or not. According to this principle it would seem that a word used commonly for mantric purposes has a greater potency over the forces of the spirit, owing to the impression it has made upon the akasa, than a word not commonly used, for in the case of the former the user has the aid of the wills of all others who have used it.

In one of his works, "The Freemason," Kernning gives a good explanation of the power of mantrams, in replying to the strictures of a rationalistic critic, who says that such a use of words is made by the bonzes (yogis) of India, and therefore must be wholly nonsensical! Says Kernning:

Whoever has a great love for an art or science not only finds delight in the results, but their very names have a sort of magic power with him. Whoever feels a love for another person is moved whenever he thinks of that person or repeats the name of that person. The gambler, in spite of all the arguments against his infatuation made by others, and often, indeed, by himself, always beholds dice and cards before his eyes. The drunkard only needs, in order to be made thirsty, to hear the name of wine. The miser lives in the vision of his ducats and dollars, the ambitious man upon the insignia of fame and the plaudits of the multitude, the courtier upon his orders and titles, and in all these cases, not only are the things themselves concerned, but the names have become idolized. Now suppose that one should, instead of swimming in the depths, fill spirit and soul with exalted and divine ideas and names, can other than most beneficent results follow? Indeed, could a person be a genuine Christian without the life of Christ, and even his name, becoming animate in spirit and soul? Therefore there is no nonsensical or unreasonable practice in this; on the contrary, every one should be made aware of this simple method, which is founded upon human nature and is confirmed by experience, that he may attain the means of ennobling his nature, of directing his energies towards the highest end of his life, and reaching this end with certainty.

Path, October, 1888



WHEN Jesus of Nazareth went to the Temple in Jerusalem he, it is said, drove money changers out of the courts; and later he said that many false prophets should arise. For the Christian that temple symbolized the Palace of God, and the occultist knows that the story really means the driving out from the heart of all materialistic thought. Jesus, with a prophet's eye, saw what has so often come to pass since then,―false prophets arising on every side, both in and out of the Church that bears his name.

In the present days no country can boast as ours of having so many false prophets, who, taking advantage of the popular leaning to mysticism hang out signs of various kinds, but one and all offering for sale the things of the spirit.

It is not to magazines or books dealing with these subjects that we refer, for printing and paper must be paid for when one wants to lay his ideas before the people. But it is quite a different thing when men or women offer to sell to the buyer, for money, the knowledge of self or any mystery in nature pertaining to spiritual things.

In one place we have a man pretending that he is a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, and in another, one deliberately stating that he is Gautama Buddha come again in order to correct errors in his promulgated doctrines. Again, we find astrologers and diviners, mediums and seers, opening shops wherein they dispense oracles to the willing, gullible people. One is quite as pernicious as the other, for the taint of money will corrupt anything. And those who have means are somewhat


to blame, in that they imagine that their money can procure them knowledge of the deep, spiritual things of Nature.

The latest thing in this line is that which began in Boston soon after the starting there of a magazine called the Esoteric. With that journal we had no concern, for its founders had a right to use it to promulgate just as much of truth as they had hold of in the same way that the PATH gives out its ideas of nature and of man. But in the beginning, the managers of that magazine let it be understood that they were, or one of them―to wit, Mr. Hiram Butler―was a theosophist; or member of the Theosophical Society. An examination of the records just made shows that he never was a member of that body.

Not very long ago a bulky book was circulated by this prophet, in which mysterious statements were made that one Vidya Nyaka desired to found a College in the U.S. to teach the stockholders (!) and students all the mysteries, and among others, the power of acquiring vast wealth, and it was said that after the college was organized unlimited means would be at its disposal, drawn from the funds at command of adepts; but, as a preliminary merely, the faithful must disburse. And disburse they did. We grieve to say that many theosophists sent in money to this scheme which, on its very face, boldly showed that it was founded as a means of giving its stock-holders wealth.

The first note was sounded in an alleged "Letter to a Seeker" published by the Esoteric. This was a fraud which took in theosophists who do not get acquainted with what is written in out-of-the-way places. It was a hit at the Theosophical Society and at the Adepts, pretending that They were cold and dead and selfish, and that only the Solar Biologists were fitted to help Americans. It exhibited ignorance when it left the domain of plagiarism. What it plagiarized from is a book called "The Wisdom of the Adepts," by Rev. Thomas Lake Harris, in which he attempted to show that Buddhist Adepts are systematically trying to subvert Christianity in America, and this "Letter to a Seeker" took as subtitle, "The Wisdom of the Wise." Fragments are taken, word for word,


from pages 8, 9, 319, 249, 371, 248, 249, of Harris's book, and used to construct this letter in the Esoteric and signed Nemo. If Rev. Harris did not write it, then it was stolen from him; or, if he did, then the Esoteric is a secret organ for a Christian sect which is anti-theosophical, while it outwardly professes theosophy. Either of these alternatives is equally damaging.

The second note was a loud one on a brass bugle heralding the founding of the Esoteric College, as the direct outcome of the efforts of the magazine, with Mr. Butler at the head of it, and Vidya Nyaka in the mysterious distance with a medley of nonsensical letters at the end of his name. The real name of Vidya N. is Ohmart, and he is known to many men in Boston who experienced his wiles before Butler joined hands with him. Before that, Ohmart was satisfied to deal with men on pure business principles, but when he combined with Butler he played upon the credulity of the mystically inclined people who sincerely desired to know the things of the spirit and foolishly thought that the great pretensions of this pair hid great knowledge and wisdom.

It all speedily ended with a frightful expose in the N. Y. World, Boston Globe and Herald, and Philadelphia Inquirer. The worst of it was that the press mixed the Theosophical Society in it, entirely without cause but wholly because of Butler's theosophic claims, and today hundreds of people think that exposure was an exposure of humbug on our part. Such are the facts; hear now of the Karma:

Mr. Butler and all his confederates have to some slight extent injured the Theosophical Society, and the nemesis provided by the immutable law of Karma will follow him until the full consequence is felt and compensation made. We do not need sworn zealots to wreak a vengeance. That will follow, whatever it be, because behind the Theosophical Society is a mighty power that works by law and by will, and not by money. No wealth can buy its favor nor avert its care for its members and for the enemies of the Society. Already material damages and great annoyance have come to these men who


dared to sell and buy in the Temple of God. And the same nemesis, but perhaps with lesser fury, will pursue all those members of the Theosophical Society who have in their hearts said, "Lo, here is one who offers at a price that which the Adepts of the Theosophical Society say can only be obtained through toil and unselfish effort; let us go buy of him." We are sorry for both, but surely lessons must be learned, and we had thought that the lesson was taught when the mysterious H. B. of L. invaded our ranks seeking recruits and getting those who would not try the right way. The end is not yet, the hour has not struck, but it will arrive. Let us then rely upon Karma and do our duty.

Path, March, 1889


ON November 30th, 1894, I received, from a source I always respect, this warning: "Look out for anonymous and bogus 'occult' messages to members of the Society. Both will be sent, as attempts at delusion, as burlesques, and for other purposes." On the second of December, at 144 Madison Avenue, New York, a New York F.T.S. in the presence of Mr. A. Fullerton handed me a packet. A plate giving the written contents is given below.

The member's name is Joseph W. Ganson, a very earnest student. He said it had fallen into his lap at his Club, the Harvard, or seemed to fall out of a newspaper he held. The only other person present was a friend who declared he had nothing to do with it. The packet is of yellowish linen paper, looking quite eastern. It was addressed "Ganson," and near the address is "a pledge." Inside was also a half of a palm-leaf south Indian manuscript with a flower in it.

Mr. Ganson said he did not know whether it was genuine or not, but could not decide and asked me to tell him. I then said that if a joke he could take the words to heart, if he chose, for what was good in them, but that in three days I would decide. On December 5th I gave him a signed certificate that the message is not genuine and had been concocted by three persons, and that all genuine objective messages from the Masters carried with them a peculiar and definite odor which could not be imitated and which once identified would not be forgotten. The message was shown to a large number of members at a meeting, and but few were willing to decide for or


against it, admitting non-ability save by argument, inference, and appearance. Appearance is no guide, because this message might have been genuine and still have the same appearance and contents.


Mr. W. E. Coleman of San Francisco is also occupying himself in sending post-cards to many members in all parts signed "Mahatma E." with three stars, referring to exposures and scurrilous attacks. Members may as well know these facts. I invite all to send to me any and all messages, real or pretended, and I will guarantee to render a decision according to the fact in each case. Beware not only of bogus messages but also of anonymous communications.

Path, January, 1895William Q. Judge


IN one of the letters written by the Master K.H. and printed by Mr. Sinnett it is said the world [including doubtless East and West] is still superstitious. That this is true can hardly be denied, and in America the appearance of many who claim to be Jesus and who thus gain followers, shows how foolish and superstitious people yet are.

A man named Teed appeared in New York and is now in some western city, who said he was Jesus. He had a theory of our living inside a hollow globe. He induced a wealthy woman to give much money, and still has followers in his present place.

In Cincinnati a Mrs. Martin declared herself to be the Christ, and immortal. She gathered believers. But unfortunately in the summer of this year she died. Her coterie refused to believe in her demise and kept her body until mortification compelled a burial.

Out in New Mexico, in 1895, a German named Schlatter rises on the scene and at last says he is the Christ. He is one who takes no money, eats but little, and it is said he cures many of their diseases. At any rate great excitement arose about him and hundreds came to be cured. He then went to Denver, a larger city, and is still there posing as Jesus and claiming that his cures constitute the proof. And there are others scattered about; those cited are merely examples.

The posing of these claimants is due to partial insanity and to vanity. They do not like to pretend to be anything less than


God. But their having followers shows how far superstitious and gullible other people are. Theosophists will doubtless laugh at both. But are we so free from the same defect? Has that folly exhibited itself or not among us, though perhaps under a different name? What of that "superstition" which sees in every dark-skinned Hindû either an Adept or a teacher, or at least a high disciple of some Yogi through whom occult favors may be had? Why it is known that this nonsense went so far in one case that the adorer devoted large sums of money to the crafty young fellow who posed as "just a little less than a Mahâtmâ." We are not quite clear of the beam we have seen in the eyes of others.

A safe rule will be that those who say they are Jesus or the equivalent of Christ, are not so, and instead of either following them or looking about for wonderful beings we will follow the ancient saying: "Man, know thyself."

Path, November, 1895William Brehon


SINCE last I wrote for THE PATH, the most distinct call I have heard from many students in the West is found in the cry: "Give us one fact!"

They have acquired the desire to know the truth, but have lingered still around the market places of earth and the halls of those scientific leaders of the blind who are the prophets of materialism. They say that some "scientific" men, while talking of Theosophy, have asked why the Masters have not "given us one fact on which we may begin and from which a conclusion might be reached"; and they―these students―most earnestly ask for that fact for themselves, even though they shall conceal it from the very men who have formulated the question.

Poor children. What are the facts ye desire? Is it some astounding thaumaturgical exhibitions that shall leave no room for doubt? If so, please say whether the feat is to be performed in the sight of thousands, or only in the presence of one postulant and his select circle? If the last, then ye are self-convicted of a desire to retain unto yourselves what belongeth to many. Or perhaps ye wish a statement of fact. But that would of course have to be supported by authority, and we, poor wanderers, have no force of authority in science or art; statements of facts coming from us would therefore be useless to you.

And I must tell you in confidence, as the messengers have before this been directed to do and have not failed therein, that an exhibition of thaumaturgical skill in the presence of a multitude would subvert the very ends the perfected men have in view. Suppose that some of those who know were now to


appear in the busy hum of American life, where the total sum of objects appears, at this distance, to be the gain of wealth, and like the two young princes of Buddha's time were to rise in the air unaided and there emit sheets of fire alternately from their heads and feet, or were to rise again and float off to a distance in plain sight of all; would that fact demonstrate anything to you? Perhaps in the breasts of some aspiring students might spring up the desire to acquire the power to do likewise. But pause and tell me what would the many do to whom such things are myths? I will tell you. Some would admit the possibility of a genuine phenomenon, seeking ways and means to do it too, so that they might exhibit it for an admission price. Others, and including your scientific fact-seekers, would begin by denying its truth, by ascribing it to delusion, and by charging those who did it, no matter how really spiritual those were, with deliberate fraud and imposture, while a certain section would deny the very happening of the matter and falsify the eye-knowledge of hundreds.1 Still others would say "It is a God"! or―"It is a devil," with consequences to correspond. No, friends, the true teachers do not begin by laying the foundations for greater error and more fast-bound superstition than those we are trying to destroy.

Then I must tell you in all seriousness and truth that statements of the facts you really wish have been over and over again made in many places, books, and times. Not alone are they to be found in your new theosophical literature, but in that of older times. In every year for centuries past these facts have been given out,―even in English. They were told in the days of the German and English Alchemists, and by the Cabalists. But greed and wrong motive have ever formed the self-constructed barriers and obscurers.

The Alchemists of the pure school spoke of the gold they could make by means of their powders, and the salt, together with their mercury; and the Cabalists said that by pronouncing Jehovah's name not only was the gold formed, but power ob-

1 We can agree with the writer, as we have seen just as wonderful things done by H.P. Blavatsky and next day heard accusations of fraud against her and charges of credulity against those who had seen. - [ED.]


tained in all worlds. Very true these statements. Are they not statements of fact? Did they satisfy the mass of seekers? So far from that, the result was to lead them into error. Many patiently sought for the powder and the proper combination of the salt or sulphur and mercury, so that they might make worthless gold metal, which today is exchangeable and tomorrow is useless, and which never could give peace of mind or open the door of the future. Then others went by themselves and tried various modulations of sound in pronouncing the supposed name of their Mighty God, until they today have some two-score sorts. What purblind ignorance this, for God is God and has not changed with the rise and fall of empires or the disappearance of languages; his name was once a different sound in ancient Egypt or India, in Lemuria, Atlantis or Copan. Where, then, are those many sounds of His Holy Name, or has that been altered?

"But where," ye say, "is the fact in the pronunciation of the name of God?" The answer is by asking "What and who is God?" He is the All; the earth, the sky, the stars in it; the heart of man; the elemental and organic world; the kingdoms of the universe; the realm of sound and the formless void. Is not the pronunciation of that Name to consist therefore in Becoming all those kingdoms, realms, and power, focussing in yourself the entire essence of them, each and all at once? Is this to be done by breathing forth "Jehovah" in one or many forms? You easily see it is not. And your minds will carry you on the next step to admit that before you can do this you must have passed through every one of those kingdoms, retaining perfect knowledge and memory of each, commander of each, before you can attempt the pronunciation of the whole. Is this a small task? Is it not the task Karma has set before you, compelling you like children to repeat parts of the word in the varied experiences of repeated lives spent on earth, bringing you back to the lesson until it is well learned?

And so we are brought to ourselves. Our Aryan ancestors have made the declaration, repeated by thousands since, that each man is himself a little universe. Through him pass all


the threads of energy that ramify to all the worlds, and where any one of those lines crosses him is the door to the kingdom to which that thread belongs. Listen to the Chandogya Upanishad:

There is this city of Brahman―the body―and in it the palace, the small lotus of the heart, and in it that small ether. Both heaven and earth are contained within it, both fire and air, both sun and moon, both lightning and stars; and whatever there is of the Self here in the world, and whatever has been or will be, all that is contained within it.

Vain it is to make search without. No knowledge will reach you from anywhere but this small lotus of the heart. Just now ye are binding it so that it cannot burst open. It is with the delusions of the mind ye bind it in a knot. That knot ye must break. Break loose from scholastic error, make of your minds a still and placid surface on which the Lord of the palace in the heart can reflect pictures of Truth, become as little children who are not hindered by preconceptions, and ye will have knowledge.

The only fact I have to offer you is―YOURSELVES.

Path, March, 1888Nilakant


STUDENT. ―I am very much puzzled about the present age. Some theosophists seem to abhor it as if wishing to be taken away from it altogether, inveighing against modern inventions such as the telegraph, railways, machinery, and the like, and bewailing the disappearance of former civilizations. Others take a different view, insisting that this is a better time than any other, and hailing modern methods as the best. Tell me, please, which of these is right, or, if both are wrong, what ought we to know about the age we live in.

Sage. ―The teachers of Truth know all about this age. But they do not mistake the present century for the whole cycle. The older times of European history, for example, when might was right and when darkness prevailed over Western nations, was as much a part of this age, from the standpoint of the Masters, as is the present hour, for the Yuga―to use a sanscrit word―in which we are now had begun many thousands of years before. And during that period of European darkness, although this Yuga had already begun, there was much light, learning, and civilization in India and China. The meaning of the words "present age" must therefore be extended over a far greater period than is at present assigned. In fact, modern science has reached no definite conclusion yet as to what should properly be called "an age," and the truth of the Eastern doctrine is denied. Hence we find writers speaking of the "Golden Age," the "Iron Age," and so on, whereas they are only parts of the real age that began so far back that modern archaeologists deny it altogether.

Student.―What is the sanscrit name for this age, and what is its meaning?


Sage.―The sanscrit is "Kali," which added to Yuga gives us "Kali-Yuga." The meaning of it is "Dark Age." Its approach was known to the ancients, its characteristics are described in the Indian poem "The Mahabharata." As I said that it takes in an immense period of the glorious part of Indian history, there is no chance for anyone to be jealous and to say that we are comparing the present hour with that wonderful division of Indian development.

Student.―What are the characteristics to which you refer, by which Kali-Yuga may be known?

Sage.―As its name implies, darkness is the chief. This of course is not deducible by comparing today with 800 A.D., for this would be no comparison at all. The present century is certainly ahead of the middle ages, but as compared with the preceding Yuga it is dark. To the Occultist, material advancement is not of the quality of light, and he finds no proof of progress in merely mechanical contrivances that give comfort to a few of the human family while the many are in misery. For the darkness he would have to point but to one nation, even the great American Republic. Here he sees a mere extension of the habits and life of the Europe from which it sprang; here a great experiment with entirely new conditions and material was tried; here for many years very little poverty was known; but here today there is as much grinding poverty as anywhere, and as large a criminal class with corresponding prisons as in Europe, and more than in India. Again, the great thirst for riches and material betterment, while spiritual life is to a great extent ignored, is regarded by us as darkness. The great conflict already begun between the wealthy classes and the poorer is a sign of darkness. Were spiritual light prevalent, the rich and the poor would still be with us, for Karma cannot be blotted out, but the poor would know how to accept their lot and the rich how to improve the poor; now, on the contrary, the rich wonder why the poor do not go to the poorhouse, meanwhile seeking in the laws for cures for strikes and socialism, and the poor continually growl at fate and their supposed oppressors. All this is of the quality of


spiritual darkness.

Student.―Is it wise to inquire as to the periods when the cycle changes, and to speculate on the great astronomical or other changes that herald a turn.

Sage.―It is not. There is an old saying that the gods are jealous about these things, not wishing mortals to know them. We may analyze the age, but it is better not to attempt to fix the hour of a change of cycle. Besides that, you will be unable to settle it, because a cycle does not begin on a day or year clear of any other cycle; they interblend, so that, although the wheel of one period is still turning, the initial point of another has already arrived.

Student.―Are these some of the reasons why Mr. Sinnett was not given certain definite periods of years about which he asked?


Student.―Has the age in which one lives any effect on the student; and what is it?

Sage.―It has effect on every one, but the student after passing along in his development feels the effect more than the ordinary man. Were it otherwise, the sincere and aspiring students all over the world would advance at once to those heights towards which they strive. It takes a very strong soul to hold back the age's heavy hand, and it is all the more difficult because that influence, being a part of the student's larger life, is not so well understood by him. It operates in the same way as a structural defect in a vessel. All the inner as well as the outer fibre of the man is the result of the long centuries of earthly lives lived here by his ancestors. These sow seeds of thought and physical tendencies in a way that you cannot comprehend. All those tendencies affect him. Many powers once possessed are hidden so deep as to be unseen, and he struggles against obstacles constructed ages ago. Further yet are the peculiar alterations brought about in the astral world. It, being at once a photographic plate, so to say, and also a


reflector, has become the keeper of the mistakes of ages past which it continually reflects upon us from a plane to which most of us are strangers. In that sense therefore, free as we suppose ourselves, we are walking about completely hypnotized by the past, acting blindly under the suggestions thus cast upon us.

Student.―Was that why Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do"?

Sage.―That was one meaning. In one aspect they acted blindly, impelled by the age, thinking they were right.

Regarding these astral alterations, you will remember how in the time of Julian the seers reported that they could see the gods, but they were decaying, some headless, others flaccid, others minus limbs, and all appearing weak. The reverence for these ideals was departing, and their astral pictures had already begun to fade.

Student.―What mitigation is there about this age? Is there nothing at all to relieve the picture?

Sage.―There is one thing peculiar to the present Kali-Yuga that may be used by the Student. All causes now bring about their effects much more rapidly than in any other or better age. A sincere lover of the race can accomplish more in three incarnations under Kali-Yuga's reign than he could in a much greater number in any other age. Thus by bearing all the manifold troubles of this Age and steadily triumphing, the object of his efforts will be more quickly realized, for, while the obstacles seem great, the powers to be invoked can be reached more quickly.

Student.―Even if this is, spiritually considered, a Dark Age, is it not in part redeemed by the increasing triumphs of mind over matter, and by the effects of science in mitigating human ills, such as the causes of disease, disease itself, cruelty, intolerance, bad laws, etc.?

Sage. - Yes, these are mitigations of the darkness in just the same way that a lamp gives some light at night but does


not restore daylight. In this age there are great triumphs of science, but they are nearly all directed to effects and do not take away the causes of the evils. Great strides have been made in the arts and in cure of diseases, but in the future, as the flower of our civilization unfolds, new diseases will arise and more strange disorders will be known, springing from causes that lie deep in the minds of men and which can only be eradicated by spiritual living.

Student.―Admitting all you say, are not we, as Theosophists, to welcome every discovery of truth in any field, especially such truth as lessens suffering or enlarges the moral sense?

Sage.―This is our duty. All truths discovered must be parts of the one Absolute Truth, and so much added to the sum of our outer knowledge. There will always be a large number of men who seek for these parts of truth, and others who try to alleviate present human misery. They each do a great and appointed work that no true Theosophist should ignore. And it is also the duty of the latter to make similar efforts when possible, for Theosophy is a dead thing if it is not turned into the life. At the same time, no one of us may be the judge of just how much or how little our brother is doing in that direction. If he does all that he can and knows how to do, he does his whole present duty.

Student.―I fear that a hostile attitude by Occult teachers towards the learning and philanthropy of the time may arouse prejudice against Theosophy and Occultism, and needlessly impede the spread of Truth. May it not be so?

Sage.―The real Occult Teachers have no hostile attitude toward these things. If some persons, who like theosophy and try to spread it, take such a position, they do not thereby alter the one assumed by the real Teachers who work with all classes of men and use every possible instrument for good. But at the same time we have found that an excess of the technical and special knowledge of the day very often acts to prevent men from apprehending the truth.


Student.―Are there any causes, other than the spread of Theosophy, which may operate to reverse the present drift towards materialism?

Sage.―The spread of the knowledge of the laws of Karma and Reincarnation and of a belief in the absolute spiritual unity of all beings will alone prevent this drift. The cycle must, however, run its course, and until that is ended all beneficial causes will of necessity act slowly and not to the extent they would in a brighter age. As each student lives a better life and by his example imprints upon the astral light the picture of a higher aspiration acted in the world, he thus aids souls of advanced development to descend from other spheres where the cycles are so dark that they can no longer stay there.

Student.―Accept my thanks for your instruction.

Sage.―May you reach the terrace of enlightenment.

Path, April, 1888


STUDENT.―If I understand you, an elemental is a centre of force, without intelligence, without moral character or tendencies, but capable of being directed in its movements by human thoughts, which may, consciously or not, give it any form, and to a certain extent intelligence; in its simplest form it is visible as a disturbance in a transparent medium, such as would be produced by a "glass fish, so transparent as to be invisible, swimming through the air of the room," and leaving behind him a shimmer, such as hot air makes when rising from a stove. Also, elementals, attracted and vitalized by certain thoughts, may effect a lodgment in the human system (of which they then share the government with the ego), and are very hard to get out.

Sage.―Correct, in general, except as to their "effecting a lodgment." Some classes of elementals, however, have an intelligence of their own and a character, but they are far beyond our comprehension and ought perhaps to have some other name.

That class which has most to do with us answers the above description. They are centres of force or energy which are acted on by us while thinking and in other bodily motions. We also act on them and give them form by a species of thought which we have no register of. As, one person might shape an elemental so as to seem like an insect, and not be able to tell whether he had thought of such a thing or not. For there is a vast unknown country in each human being which he does not himself understand until he has tried, and


then only after many initiations.

That "elementals . . . may effect a lodgment in the human system, of which they then share the government, and are very hard to get out" is, as a whole, incorrect. It is only in certain cases that any one or more elementals are attracted to and "find lodgment in the human system." In such cases special rules apply. We are not considering such cases. The elemental world interpenetrates this, and is therefore eternally present in the human system.

As it (the elemental world) is automatic and like a photographic plate, all atoms continually arriving at and departing from the "human system" are constantly assuming the impression conveyed by the acts and thoughts of that person, and therefore, if he sets up a strong current of thought, he attracts elementals in greater numbers, and they all take on one prevailing tendency or color, so that all new arrivals find a homogeneous color or image which they instantly assume. On the other hand, a man who has many diversities of thought and meditation is not homogeneous, but, so to say, particolored, and so the elementals may lodge in that part which is different from the rest and go away in like condition. In the first case it is one mass of elementals similarly vibrating or electrified and colored, and in that sense may be called one elemental, in just the same way that we know one man as Jones, although for years he has been giving off and taking on new atoms of gross matter.

Student.―If they are attracted and repelled by thoughts, do they move with the velocity of thought, say from here to the planet Neptune?

Sage.―They move with the velocity of thought. In their world there is no space or time as we understand those terms. If Neptune be within the astral sphere of this world, then they go there with that velocity, otherwise not; but that "if" need not be solved now.

Student.―What determines their movements besides thought,―e.g., when they are floating about the room?


Sage.―Those other classes of thoughts above referred to; certain exhalations of beings; different rates and ratios of vibration among beings; different changes of magnetism caused by present causes or by the moon and the year; different polarities; changes of sound; changes of influences from other minds at a distance.

Student.―When so floating, can they be seen by any one, or only by those persons who are clairvoyant?

Sage.―Clairvoyance is a poor word. They can be seen by partly clairvoyant people. By all those who can see thus; by more people, perhaps, than are aware of the fact.

Student.―Can they be photographed, as the rising air from the hot stove can?

Sage.―Not to my knowledge yet. It is not impossible, however.

Student.―Are they the lights, seen floating about a dark séance room by clairvoyant people?

Sage.―In the majority of cases those lights are produced by them.

Student.―Exactly what is their relation to light, that makes it necessary to hold séances in the dark?

Sage.―It is not their relation to light that makes darkness necessary, but the fact that light causes constant agitation and alteration in the magnetism of the room. All these things can be done just as well in the light of day.

If I should be able to make clear to you "exactly what is their relation to light," then you would know what has long been kept secret, the key to the elemental world. This is kept guarded because it is a dangerous secret. No matter how virtuous you are, you could not―once you knew the secret―prevent the knowledge getting out into the minds of others who would not hesitate to use it for bad purposes.

Student.―I have noticed that attention often interferes


with certain phenomena; thus a pencil will not write when watched, but writes at once when covered; or a mental question cannot be answered till the mind has left it and gone to something else. Why is this?

Sage.―This kind of attention creates confusion. In these things we use desire, will, and knowledge. The desire is present, but knowledge is absent. When the desire is well formed and attention withdrawn, the thing is often done; but when our attention is continued we only interrupt, because we possess only half attention. In order to use attention, it must be of that sort which can hold itself to the point of a needle for an indefinite period of time.

Student.―I have been told that but few people can go to a séance without danger to themselves, either of some spiritual or astral contamination, or of having their vitality depleted for the benefit of the spooks, who suck the vital force out of the circle through the medium, as if the former were a glass of lemonade and the latter a straw. How is this?

Sage.―Quite generally this happens. It is called Bhut worship by the Hindus.

Student.―Why are visitors at a séance often extremely and unaccountably tired next day?

Sage.―Among other reasons, because mediums absorb the vitality for the use of the "spooks," and often vile vampire elementaries are present.

Student.―What are some of the dangers at séances?

Sage.―The scenes visible―in the Astral―at séances are horrible, inasmuch as these "spirits"―bhuts―precipitate themselves upon sitters and mediums alike; and as there is no séance without having present some or many bad elementaries―half dead human beings,―there is much vampirizing going on. These things fall upon the people like a cloud or a big octopus, and disappear within them as if sucked in by a


sponge. That is one reason why it is not well to attend them in general.

Elementaries are not all bad, but, in a general sense, they are not good. They are shells, no doubt of that. Well, they have much automatic and seemingly intelligent action left if they are those of strongly material people who died attached to the things of life. If of people of an opposite character, they are not so strong. Then there is a class which are really not dead, such as suicides, and sudden deaths, and highly wicked people. They are powerful. Elementals enter into all of them, and thus get a fictitious personality and intelligence wholly the property of the shell. They galvanize the shell into action, and by its means can see and hear as if beings themselves, like us. The shells are, in this case, just like a sleepwalking human body. They will through habit exhibit the advancement they got while in the flesh. Some people, you know, do not impart to their bodily molecules the habit of their minds to as great extent as others. We thus see why the utterances of these so-called "spirits" are never ahead of the highest point of progress attained by living human beings, and why they take up the ideas elaborated day-by-day by their votaries. This séance worship is what was called in Old India the worship of the Pretas and Bhuts and Pisachas and Gandharvas.

I do not think any elementary capable of motive had ever any other than a bad one; the rest are nothing, they have no motive and are only the shades refused passage by Charon.

Student.―What is the relation between sexual force and phenomena?

Sage.―It is at the bottom. This force is vital, creative, and a sort of reservoir. It may be lost by mental action as well as by physical. In fact its finer part is dissipated by mental imaginings, while physical acts only draw off the gross part, that which is the "carrier" (upadhi) for the finer.

Student.―Why do so many mediums cheat, even when


they can produce real phenomena?

Sage.―It is the effect of the use of that which in itself is sublimated cheating, which, acting on an irresponsible mind, causes the lower form of cheat, of which the higher is any illusionary form whatever. Besides, a medium is of necessity unbalanced somewhere.

They deal with these forces for pay, and that is enough to call to them all the wickedness of time. They use the really gross sorts of matter, which causes inflammation in corresponding portions of the moral character, and hence divagations from the path of honesty. It is a great temptation. You do not know, either, what fierceness there is in those who "have paid" for a sitting and wish "for the worth of their money."

Student.―When a clairvoyant, as a man did here a year ago, tells me that "he sees a strong band of spirits about me," and among them an old man who says he is a certain eminent character, what does he really see? Empty and senseless shells? If so, what brought them there? Or elementals which have got their form from my mind or his?

Sage.―Shells, I think, and thoughts, and old astral pictures. If for instance, you once saw that eminent person and conceived great respect or fear for him, so that his image was graven in your astral sphere in deeper lines than other images, it would be seen for your whole life by seers, who, if untrained―as they all are here―could not tell whether it was an image or reality; and then each sight of it is a revivification of the image.

Besides, not all would see the same thing. Fall down, for instance, and hurt your body, and that will bring up all similar events and old forgotten things before any seer's eye.

The whole astral world is a mass of illusion; people see into it, and then, through the novelty of the thing and the exclusiveness of the power, they are bewildered into thinking


they actually see true things, whereas they have only removed one thin crust of dirt.

Student.―Accept my thanks for your instruction.

Sage.―May you reach the terrace of enlightenment.

Path, May, 1888


STUDENT.―Permit me to ask you again, Are elementals beings?

Sage.―It is not easy to convey to you an idea of the constitution of elementals; strictly speaking, they are not, because the word elementals has been used in reference to a class of them that have no being such as mortals have. It would be better to adopt the terms used in Indian books, such as Gandharvas, Bhuts, Pisachas, Devas, and so on. Many things well known about them cannot be put into ordinary language.

Student.―Do you refer to their being able to act in the fourth dimension of space?

Sage.―Yes, in a measure. Take the tying in an endless cord of many knots―a thing often done at spiritist séances. That is possible to him who knows more dimensions of space than three. No three-dimensional being can do this; and as you understand "matter," it is impossible for you to conceive how such a knot can be tied or how a solid ring can be passed through the matter of another solid one. These things can be done by elementals.

Student.―Are they not all of one class?

Sage.―No. There are different classes for each plane, and division of plane, of nature. Many can never be recognized by men. And those pertaining to one plane do not act in another. You must remember, too, that these "planes" of which


we are speaking interpenetrate each other.

Student.―Am I to understand that a clairvoyant or clairaudient has to do with or is affected by a certain special class or classes of elementals?

Sage.―Yes. A clairvoyant can only see the sights properly belonging to the planes his development reaches to or has opened. And the elementals in those planes show to the clairvoyant only such pictures as belong to their plane. Other parts of the idea or thing pictured may be retained in planes not yet open to the seer. For this reason few clairvoyants know the whole truth.

Student.―Is there not some connection between the Karma of man and elementals?

Sage.―A very important one. The elemental world has become a strong factor in the Karma of the human race. Being unconscious, automatic, and photographic, it assumes the complexion of the human family itself. In the earlier ages, when we may postulate that man had not yet begun to make bad Karma, the elemental world was more friendly to man because it had not received unfriendly impressions. But so soon as man began to become ignorant, unfriendly to himself and the rest of creation, the elemental world began to take on exactly the same complexion and return to humanity the exact pay, so to speak, due for the actions of humanity. Or, like a donkey, which, when he is pushed against, will push against you. Or, as a human being, when anger or insult is offered, feels inclined to return the same. So the elemental world, being unconscious force, returns or reacts upon humanity exactly as humanity acted towards it, whether the actions of men were done with the knowledge of these laws or not. So in these times it has come to be that the elemental world has the complexion and action which is the exact result of all the actions and thoughts and desires of men from the earliest times. And, being unconscious and only acting according to the natural laws of its being, the elemental world is a


powerful factor in the workings of Karma. And so long as mankind does not cultivate brotherly feeling and charity towards the whole of creation, just so long will the elementals be without the impulse to act for our benefit. But so soon and wherever man or men begin to cultivate brotherly feeling and love for the whole of creation, there and then the elementals begin to take on the new condition.

Student.―How then about the doing of phenomena by adepts?

Sage.―The production of phenomena is not possible without either the aid or disturbance of elementals. Each phenomenon entails the expenditure of great force, and also brings on a correspondingly great disturbance in the elemental world, which disturbance is beyond the limit natural to ordinary human life. It then follows that, as soon as the phenomenon is completed, the disturbance occasioned begins to be compensated for. The elementals are in greatly excited motion, and precipitate themselves in various directions. They are not able to affect those who are protected. But they are able, or rather it is possible for them, to enter into the sphere of unprotected persons, and especially those persons who are engaged in the study of occultism. And then they become agents in concentrating the karma of those persons, producing troubles and disasters often, or other difficulties which otherwise might have been so spread over a period of time as to be not counted more than the ordinary vicissitudes of life. This will go to explain the meaning of the statement that an Adept will not do a phenomenon unless he sees the desire in the mind of another lower or higher Adept or student; for then there is a sympathetic relation established, and also a tacit acceptance of the consequences which may ensue. It will also help to understand the peculiar reluctance often of some persons, who can perform phenomena, to produce them in cases where we may think their production would be beneficial; and also why they are never done in order to compass


worldly ends, as is natural for worldly people to suppose might be done,―such as procuring money, transferring objects, influencing minds, and so on.

Student.―Accept my thanks for you instruction.

Sage.―May you reach the terrace of enlightenment!

Path, June, 1888


STUDENT.―Is there any reason why you do not give me a more detailed explanation of the constitution of elementals and the modes by which they work?

Sage.―Yes. There are many reasons. Among others is your inability, shared by most of the people of the present day, to comprehend a description of things that pertain to a world with which you are not familiar and for which you do not yet possess terms of expression. Were I to put forth these descriptions, the greater part would seem vague and incomprehensible on one hand, while on the other many of them would mislead you because of the interpretation put on them by yourself. Another reason is that, if the constitution, field of action, and method of action of elementals were given out, there are some minds of a very inquiring and peculiar bent who soon could find out how to come into communication with these extraordinary beings, with results disadvantageous to the community as well as the individuals.

Student.―Why so? Is it not well to increase the sum of human knowledge, even respecting most recondite parts of nature; or can it be that the elementals are bad?

Sage.―It is wise to increase the knowledge of nature's laws, but always with proper limitations. All things will become known some day. Nothing can be kept back when men have reached the point where they can understand. But at this time it would not be wise to give them, for the asking, certain knowledge that would not be good for them.

That knowledge


relates to elementals, and it can for the present be kept back from the scientists of today. So long as it can be retained from them, it will be, until they and their followers are of a different stamp.

As to the moral character of elementals, they have none; they are colorless in themselves―except some classes―and merely assume the tint, so to speak, of the person using them.

Student.―Will our scientific men one day, then, be able to use these beings, and, if so, what will be the manner of it? Will their use be confined to only the good men of the earth?

Sage.―The hour is approaching when all this will be done. But the scientists of today are not the men to get this knowledge. They are only pigmy forerunners who sow seed and delve blindly in no thoroughfares. They are too small to be able to grasp these mighty powers, but they are not wise enough to see that their methods will eventually lead to Black Magic in centuries to come when they shall be forgotten.

When elemental forces are used similarly as we now see electricity and other natural energies adapted to various purposes, there will be "war in heaven." Good men will not alone possess the ability to use them. Indeed, the sort of man you now call "good" will not be the most able. The wicked will, however, pay liberally for the power of those who can wield such forces, and at last the Supreme Masters, who now guard this knowledge from children, will have to come forth. Then will ensue a dreadful war, in which, as has ever happened, the Masters will succeed and the evil doers be destroyed by the very engines, principalities, and powers prostituted to their own purposes during years of intense selfish living. But why dilate on this; in these days it is only a prophecy.

Student.―Could you give me some hints as to how the secrets of the elemental plane are preserved and prevented from being known? Do these guardians of whom you speak occupy themselves in checking elementals, or how? Do they see much danger of divulgement likely in those instances where elemental action is patent to the observer?


Sage.―As to whether they check elementals or not need not be enquired into, because, while that may be probable, it does not appear very necessary where men are unsuspicious of the agency causing that phenomena. It is much easier to throw a cloud over the investigator's mind and lead him off to other results of often material advantage to himself and men, while at the same time acting as a complete preventive or switch which turns his energies and application into different departments.

It might be illustrated thus: Suppose that a number of trained occultists are set apart to watch the various sections of the world where the mental energies are in fervid operation. It is quite easy for them to see in a moment any mind that is about reaching a clue into the elemental world; and, besides, imagine that trained elementals themselves constantly carry information of such events. Then, by superior knowledge and command over this peculiar world, influences presenting various pictures are sent out to that enquiring mind. In one case it may be a new moral reform, in another a great invention is revealed, and such is the effect that the man's whole time and mind are taken up by this new thing which he fondly imagines is his own. Or, again, it would be easy to turn his thoughts into a certain rut leading far from the dangerous clue. In fact, the methods are endless.

Student.―Would it be wise to put into the hands of truly good, conscientious men who now use aright what gifts they have, knowledge of and control over elementals, to be used on the side of right?

Sage.―The Masters are the judges of what good men are to have this power and control. You must not forget that you cannot be sure of the character at bottom of those whom you call "truly good and conscientious men." Place them in the fire of the tremendous temptation which such power and control would furnish, and most of them would fail. But the Masters already know the characters of all who in any way approach to a knowledge of these forces, and They always


judge whether such a man is to be aided or prevented. They are not working to make these laws and forces known, but to establish right doctrine, speech, and action, so that the characters and motives of men shall undergo such radical changes as to fit them for wielding power in the elemental world. And that power is not now lying idle, as you infer, but is being always used by those who will never fail to rightly use it.

Student.―Is there any illustration at hand showing what the people of the present day would do with these extraordinary energies?

Sage.―A cursory glance at men in these western worlds engaged in the mad rush after money, many of them willing to do anything to get it, and at the strain, almost to warfare, existing between laborers and users of labor, must show you that, were either class in possession of power over the elemental world, they would direct it to the furtherance of the aims now before them. Then look at Spiritualism. It is recorded in the Lodge―photographed, you may say, by the doers of the acts themselves―that an enormous number of persons daily seek the aid of mediums and their "spooks" merely on questions of business. Whether to buy stocks, or engage in mining for gold and silver, to deal in lotteries, or to make new mercantile contracts. Here on one side is a picture of a coterie of men who obtained at a low figure some mining property on the advice of elemental spirits with fictitious names masquerading behind mediums; these mines were then to be put upon the public at a high profit, inasmuch as the "spirits" promised metal. Unhappily for the investors, it failed. But such a record is repeated in many cases.

Then here is another where in a great American city―the karma being favorable―a certain man speculated in stocks upon similar advice, succeeded, and, after giving the medium liberal pay, retired to what is called enjoyment of life. Neither party devoted either himself or the money to the benefiting of humanity.


There is no question of honor involved, nor any as to whether money ought or ought not to be made. It is solely one as to the propriety, expediency, and results of giving suddenly into the hands of a community unprepared and without an altruistic aim, such abnormal power. Take hidden treasure, for instance. There is much of it in hidden places, and many men wish to get it. For what purpose? For the sake of ministering to their luxurious wants and leaving it to their equally unworthy descendants. Could they know the mantram controlling the elementals that guard such treasure, they would use it at once, motive or no motive, the sole object being the money in the case.

Student.―Do some sorts of elementals have guard over hidden treasure?

Sage.―Yes, in every instance, whether never found or soon discovered. The causes for the hiding and the thoughts of the hider or loser have much to do with the permanent concealment or subsequent finding.

Student.―What happens when a large sum of money, say, such as Captain Kidd's mythical treasure, is concealed, or when a quantity of coin is lost?

Sage.―Elementals gather about it. They have many and curious modes of causing further concealment. They even influence animals to that end. This class of elementals seldom, if ever, report at your spiritualistic séances. As time goes on the forces of air and water still further aid them, and sometimes they are able even to prevent the hider from recovering it. Thus in course of years, even when they may have altogether lost their hold on it, the whole thing becomes shrouded in mist, and it is impossible to find anything.

Student.―This in part explains why so many failures are recorded in the search for hidden treasure. But how about the Masters; are they prevented thus by these weird guardians?

Sage.―They are not. The vast quantities of gold hidden in


the earth and under the sea are at their disposal always. They can, when necessary for their purposes, obtain such sums of money on whom no living being or descendants of any have the slightest claim, as would appall the senses of your greatest money getter. They have but to command the very elementals controlling it, and They have it. This is the basis for the story of Aladdin's wonderful lamp, more true than you believe.

Student.―Of what use then is it to try, like the alchemists, to make gold? With the immense amount of buried treasure thus easily found when you control its guardian, it would seem a waste of time and money to learn transmutation of metals.

Sage.―The transmutation spoken of by the real alchemists was the alteration of the base alloy in man's nature. At the same time, actual transmutation of lead into gold is possible. And many followers of the alchemists, as well as of the pure-souled Jacob Boehme, eagerly sought to accomplish the material transmuting, being led away by the glitter of wealth. But an Adept has no need for transmutation, as I have shown you. The stories told of various men who are said to have produced gold from base metals for different kings in Europe are wrong explanations. Here and there Adepts have appeared, assuming different names, and in certain emergencies they supplied or used large sums of money. But instead of its being the product of alchemical art, it was simply ancient treasure brought to them by elementals in their service and that of the Lodge. Raymond Lully or Robert Flood might have been of that sort, but I forbear to say, since I cannot claim acquaintance with those men.

Student.―I thank you for your instruction. Sage.―May you reach the terrace of enlightenment!

Path, July, 1888


STUDENT.―You spoke of mantrams by which we could control elementals on guard over hidden treasure. What is a mantram?

Sage.―A mantram is a collection of words which, when sounded in speech, induce certain vibrations not only in the air, but also in the finer ether, thereby producing certain effects.

Student.―Are the words taken at haphazard?

Sage.―Only by those who, knowing nothing of mantrams, yet use them.

Student.―May they, then, be used according to rule and also irregularly? Can it be possible that people who know absolutely nothing of their existence or field of operations should at the same time make use of them? Or is it something like digestion, of which so many people know nothing whatever, while they in fact are dependent upon its proper use for their existence? I crave your indulgence because I know nothing of the subject.

Sage.―The "common people" in almost every country make use of them continually, but even in that case the principle at the bottom is the same as in the other. In a new country where folk-lore has not yet had time to spring up, the people do not have as many as in such a land as India or in long settled parts of Europe. The aborigines, however, in any country will be possessed of them.


Student.―You do not now infer that they are used by Europeans for the controlling of elementals.

Sage.―No. I refer to their effect in ordinary intercourse between human beings. And yet there are many men in Europe, as well as in Asia, who can thus control animals, but those are nearly always special cases. There are men in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Ireland who can bring about extraordinary effects on horses, cattle, and the like, by peculiar sounds uttered in a certain way. In those instances the sound used is a mantram of only one member, and will act only on the particular animal that the user knows it can rule.

Student.―Do these men know the rules governing the matter? Are they able to convey it to another?

Sage.―Generally not. It is a gift self-found or inherited, and they only know that it can be done by them, just as a mesmerizer knows he can do a certain thing with a wave of his hand, but is totally ignorant of the principle. They are as ignorant of the base of this strange effect as your modern physiologists are of the function and cause of such a common thing as yawning.

Student.―Under what head should we put this unconscious exercise of power?

Sage.―Under the head of natural magic, that materialistic science can never crush out. It is a touch with nature and her laws always preserved by the masses, who, while they form the majority of the population, are yet ignored by the "cultured classes." And so it will be discovered by you that it is not in London or Paris or New York drawing-rooms that you will find mantrams, whether regular or irregular, used by the people. "Society," too cultured to be natural, has adopted methods of speech intended to conceal and to deceive, so that natural mantrams can not be studied within its borders.

Single, natural mantrams are such words as "wife." When it is spoken it brings up in the mind all that is implied by the


word. And if in another language, the word would be that corresponding to the same basic idea. And so with expressions of greater length, such as many slang sentences; thus, "I want to see the color of his money." There are also sentences applicable to certain individuals, the use of which involves a knowledge of the character of those to whom we speak. When these are used, a peculiar and lasting vibration is set up in the mind of the person affected, leading to a realization in action of the idea involved, or to a total change of life due to the appositeness of the subjects brought up and to the peculiar mental antithesis induced in the hearer. As soon as the effect begins to appear the mantram may be forgotten, since the law of habit then has sway in the brain.

Again, bodies of men are acted on by expressions having the mantramic quality; this is observed in great social or other disturbances. The reason is the same as before. A dominant idea is aroused that touches upon a want of the people or on an abuse which oppresses them, and the change and interchange in their brains between the idea and the form of words go on until the result is accomplished. To the occultist of powerful sight this is seen to be a "ringing" of the words coupled with the whole chain of feelings, interests, aspirations, and so forth, that grows faster and deeper as the time for the relief or change draws near. And the greater number of persons affected by the idea involved, the larger, deeper, and wider the result. A mild illustration may be found in Lord Beaconsfield of England. He knew about mantrams, and continually invented phrases of that quality. "Peace with honor" was one; "a scientific frontier" was another; and his last, intended to have a wider reach, but which death prevented his supplementing, was "Empress of India." King Henry of England also tried it without himself knowing why, when he added to his titles, "Defender of the Faith." With these hints numerous illustrations will occur to you.

Student.―These mantrams have only to do with human beings as between each other. They do not affect elementals,


as I judge from what you say. And they are not dependent upon the sound so much as upon words bringing up ideas. Am I right in this; and is it the case that there is a field in which certain vocalizations produce effects in the Akasa by means of which men, animals, and elementals alike can be influenced, without regard to their knowledge of any known language?

Sage.―You are right. We have only spoken of natural, unconsciously-used mantrams. The scientific mantrams belong to the class you last referred to. It is to be doubted whether they can be found in modern Western languages―especially among English speaking people who are continually changing and adding to their spoken words to such an extent that the English of today could hardly be understood by Chaucer's predecessors. It is in the ancient Sanscrit and the language which preceded it that mantrams are hidden. The laws governing their use are also to be found in those languages, and not in any modern philological store.

Student.―Suppose, though, that one acquires a knowledge of ancient and correct mantrams, could he affect a person speaking English, and by the use of English words?

Sage.―He could; and all adepts have the power to translate a strictly regular mantram into any form of language, so that a single sentence thus uttered by them will have an immense effect on the person addressed, whether it be by letter or word of mouth.

Student.―Is there no way in which we might, as it were, imitate those adepts in this?

Sage.―Yes, you should study simple forms of mantramic quality, for the purpose of thus reaching the hidden mind of all the people who need spiritual help. You will find now and then some expression that has resounded in the brain, at last producing such a result that he who heard it turns his mind to spiritual things.


Student.―I thank you for your instruction.

Sage.―May the Brahmamantram guide you to the everlasting truth―OM.

Path, August, 1888


STUDENT.―A materialist stated to me as his opinion that all that is said about mantrams is mere sentimental theorizing, and while it may be true that certain words affect people, the sole reason is that they embody ideas distasteful or pleasant to the hearers, but that the mere sounds, as such, have no effect whatever, and as to either words or sounds affecting animals he denied it altogether. Of course he would not take elementals into account at all, as their existence is impossible for him.

Sage.―This position is quite natural in these days. There has been so much materialization of thought, and the real scientific attitude of leading minds in different branches of investigation has been so greatly misunderstood by those who think they follow the example of the scientific men, that most people in the West are afraid to admit anything beyond what may be apprehended by the five senses. The man you speak of is one of that always numerous class who adopt as fixed and unalterable general laws laid down from time to time by well known savants, forgetting that the latter constantly change and advance from point to point.

Student.―Do you think, then, that the scientific world will one day admit much that is known to Occultists?

Sage.―Yes, it will. The genuine Scientist is always in that attitude which permits him to admit things proven. He may seem to you often to be obstinate and blind, but in fact he is proceeding slowly to the truth―too slowly, perhaps for you, yet not in the position of knowing all. It is the veneered scientist who swears by the published results of the work of lead-


ing men as being the last word, while, at the very moment he is doing so, his authority may have made notes or prepared new theories tending to greatly broaden and advance the last utterance. It is only when the dogmatism of a priest backed up by law declares that a discovery is opposed to the revealed word of his god, that we may fear. That day is gone for a long time to come, and we need expect no more scenes like that in which Galileo took part. But among the materialistic minds to whom you referred, there is a good deal of that old spirit left, only that the "revealed word of God" has become the utterances of our scientific leaders.

Student.―I have observed that within even the last quarter of a century. About ten years ago many well-known men laughed to scorn any one who admitted the facts within the experience of every mesmerizer, while now, under the term "hypnotism," they are nearly all admitted. And when these lights of our time were denying it all, the French doctors were collating the results of a long series of experiments. It seems as if the invention of a new term for an old and much abused one furnished an excuse for granting all that had been previously denied. But have you anything to say about those materialistic investigators? Are they not governed by some powerful, though unperceived, law?

Sage.―They are. They are in the forefront of the mental, but not of the spiritual, progress of the time, and are driven forward by forces they know nothing of. Help is very often given to them by the Masters, who, neglecting nothing, constantly see to it that these men make progress upon the fittest lines for them, just as you are assisted not only in your spiritual life but in your mental also. These men, therefore, will go on admitting facts and finding new laws or new names for old laws, to explain them. They cannot help it.

Student.―What should be our duty, then, as students of truth? Should we go out as reformers of science, or what?

Sage.―You ought not to take up the role of reformers of the schools and their masters, because success would not


attend the effort. Science is competent to take care of itself, and you would only be throwing pearls before them to be trampled under foot. Rest content that all within their comprehension will be discovered and admitted from time to time. The endeavor to force them into admitting what you believe to be so plain would be due almost solely to your vanity and love of praise. It is not possible to force them, any more than it is for me to force you, to admit certain incomprehensible laws, and you would not think me wise or fair to first open before you things, to understand which you have not the necessary development, and then to force you into admitting their truth. Or if, out of reverence, you should say, "These things are true," while you comprehended nothing and were not progressing, you would have bowed to superior force.

Student.―But you do not mean that we should remain ignorant of science and devote ourselves only to ethics?

Sage.―Not at all. Know all that you can. Become conversant with and sift all that the schools have declared, and as much more on your own account as is possible, but at the same time teach, preach, and practice a life based on a true understanding of brotherhood. This is the true way. The common people, those who know no science, are the greatest number. They must be so taught that the discoveries of science which are unillumined by spirit may not be turned into Black Magic.

Student.―In our last conversation you touched upon the guarding of buried treasure by elementals. I should like very much to hear a little more about that. Not about how to control them or to procure the treasure, but upon the subject generally.

Sage.―The laws governing the hiding of buried treasure are the same as those that relate to lost objects. Every person has about him a fluid, or plane, or sphere, or energy, which-ever you please to call it, in which are constantly found elementals that partake of his nature. That is, they are tinted


with his color and impressed by his character. There are numerous classes of these. Some men have many of one class or of all, or many of some and few of others. And anything worn upon your person is connected with your elementals. For instance, you wear cloth made of wool or linen, and little objects made of wood, bone, brass, gold, silver, and other substances. Each one of these has certain magnetic relations peculiar to itself, and all of them are soaked, to a greater or less extent, with your magnetism as well as nervous fluid. Some of them, because of their substance, do not long retain this fluid, while others do. The elementals are connected, each class according to its substance, with those objects by means of the magnetic fluid. And they are acted upon by the mind and desires to a greater extent than you know, and in a way that cannot be formulated in English. Your desires have a powerful grasp, so to say, upon certain things, and upon others a weaker hold. When one of these objects is suddenly dropped, it is invariably followed by elementals. They are drawn after it, and may be said to go with the object by attraction rather than by sight. In many cases they completely envelop the thing, so that, although it is near at hand, it cannot be seen by the eye. But after awhile the magnetism wears off and their power to envelop the article weakens, whereupon it appears in sight. This does not happen in every case. But it is a daily occurrence, and is sufficiently obvious to many persons to be quite removed from the realm of fable. I think, indeed, that one of your literary persons has written an essay upon this very experience, in which, although treated in a comic vein, many truths are unconsciously told; the title of this was, if I mistake not, "Upon the Innate Perversity of Inanimate Objects." There is such a nice balancing of forces in these cases that you must be careful in your generalizations. You may justly ask, for instance, Why, when a coat is dropped, it seldom disappears from sight? Well, there are cases in which even such a large object is hidden, but they are not very common. The coat is full of your magnetism, and the elementals may feel in it just as much of you as when it is on your


back. There may be, for them, no disturbance of the relations, magnetic and otherwise. And often in the case of a small object not invisible, the balancing of forces, due to many causes that have to do with your condition at the time, prevents the hiding. To decide in any particular case, one would have to see into the realm where the operation of these laws is hidden, and calculate all the forces, so as to say why it happened in one way and not in another.

Student.―But take the case of a man who, being in possession of treasure, hides it in the earth and goes away and dies, and it is not found. In that instance the elementals did not hide it. Or when a miser buries his gold or jewels. How about those?

Sage.―In all cases where a man buries gold, or jewels, or money, or precious things, his desires are fastened to that which he hides. Many of his elementals attach themselves to it, and other classes of them also, who had nothing to do with him, gather round and keep it hidden. In the case of the captain of a ship containing treasure the influences are very powerful, because there the elementals are gathered from all the persons connected with the treasure, and the officer himself is full of solicitude for what is committed to his charge. You should also remember that gold and silver―or metals―have relations with elementals that are of a strong and peculiar character. They do not work for human law, and natural law does not assign any property in metals to man, nor recognize in him any peculiar and transcendent right to retain what he has dug from the earth or acquired to himself. Hence we do not find the elementals anxious to restore to him the gold or silver which he had lost. If we were to assume that they occupied themselves in catering to the desires of men or in establishing what we call our rights over property, we might as well at once grant the existence of a capricious and irresponsible Providence. They proceed solely according to the law of their being, and, as they are without the power of making a judgment, they commit no blunders and are not to


be moved by considerations based upon our vested rights or our unsatisfied wishes. Therefore, the spirits that appertain to metals invariably act as the laws of their nature prescribe, and one way of doing so is to obscure the metals from our sight.

Student.―Can you make any application of all this in the realm of ethics?

Sage.―There is a very important thing you should not overlook. Every time you harshly and unmercifully criticize the faults of another, you produce an attraction to yourself of certain quantities of elementals from that person. They fasten themselves upon you and endeavor to find in you a similar state or spot or fault that they have left in the other person. It is as if they left him to serve you at higher wages, so to say.

Then there is that which I referred to in a preceding conversation, about the effect of our acts and thoughts upon, not only the portion of the astral light belonging to each of us with its elementals, but upon the whole astral world. If men saw the dreadful pictures imprinted there and constantly throwing down upon us their suggestions to repeat the same acts or thoughts, a millennium might soon draw near. The astral light is, in this sense, the same as a photographer's negative plate, and we are the sensitive paper underneath, on which is being printed the picture. We can see two sorts of pictures for each act. One is the act itself, and the other is the picture of the thoughts and feelings animating those engaged in it. You can therefore see that you may be responsible for many more dreadful pictures than you had supposed. For actions of a simple outward appearance have behind them, very often, the worst of thoughts or desires.

Student.―Have these pictures in the astral light anything to do with us upon being reincarnated in subsequent earth-lives?

Sage.―They have very much indeed. We are influenced by them for vast periods of time, and in this you can perhaps


find clues to many operations of active Karmic law for which you seek.

Student.―Is there not also some effect upon animals, and through them upon us, and vice versa?

Sage.―Yes. The animal kingdom is affected by us through the astral light. We have impressed the latter with pictures of cruelty, oppression, dominion, and slaughter. The whole Christian world admits that man can indiscriminately slaughter animals, upon the theory, elaborately set forth by priests in early times, that animals have no souls. Even little children learn this and very early begin to kill insects, birds, and animals, not for protection, but from wantonness. As they grow up the habit is continued, and in England we see that shooting large numbers of birds beyond the wants of the table, is a national peculiarity, or, as I should say, a vice. This may be called a mild illustration. If these people could catch elementals as easily as they can animals, they would kill them for amusement when they did not want them for use; and, if the elementals refused to obey, then their death would follow as a punishment. All this is perceived by the elemental world, without conscience of course; but, under the laws of action and reaction, we receive back from it exactly that which we give.

Student.―Before we leave the subject I should like to refer again to the question of metals and the relation of man to the elementals connected with the mineral world. We see some persons who seem always to be able to find metals with ease―or, as they say, who are lucky in that direction. how am I to reconcile this with the natural tendency of elementals to hide? Is it because there is a war or discord, as it were, between different classes belonging to any one person?

Sage.―That is a part of the explanation. Some persons, as I said, have more of one class attached to them than another. A person fortunate with metals, say of gold and silver, has about him more of the elementals connected with or belong-


ing to the kingdoms of those metals than other people, and thus there is less strife between the elementals. The preponderance of the metal-spirits makes the person more homogeneous with their kingdoms, and a natural attraction exists between the gold or silver lost or buried and that person, more than in the case of other people.

Student.―What determines this? Is it due to a desiring of gold and silver, or is it congenital?

Sage.―It is innate. The combinations in any one individual are so intricate and due to so many causes that you could not calculate them. They run back many generations, and depend upon peculiarities of soil, climate, nation, family, and race. These are, as you can see, enormously varied, and, with the materials at your command now, quite beyond your reach. Merely wishing for gold and silver will not do it.

Student.―I judge also that attempting to get at those elementals by thinking strongly will not accomplish that result either.

Sage. ―No, it will not, because your thoughts do not reach them. They do not hear or see you, and, as it is only by accidental concentration of forces that unlearned people influence them, these accidents are only possible to the extent that you possess the natural leaning to the particular kingdom whose elementals you have influenced.

Student.―I thank you for your instruction.

Sage.―May you be guided to the path which leads to light!

Path, September, 1888


STUDENT.―What principal idea would it be well for me to dwell upon in my studies on the subject of elementals?

Sage.―You ought to clearly fix in your mind and fully comprehend a few facts and the laws relating to them. As the elemental world is wholly different from the one visible to you, the laws governing them and their actions cannot as yet be completely defined in terms now used either by scientific or metaphysical schools. For that reason, only a partial description is possible. Some of those facts I will give you, it being well understood that I am not including all classes of elemental beings in my remarks.

First, then, Elementals have no form.

Student.―You mean, I suppose, that they have no limited form or body as ours, having a surface upon which sensation appears to be located.

Sage.―Not only so, but also that they have not even a shadowy, vague, astral form such as is commonly ascribed to ghosts. They have no distinct personal form in which to reveal themselves.

Student.―How am I to understand that, in view of the instances given by Bulwer Lytton and others of appearances of elementals in certain forms?

Sage.―The shape given to or assumed by any elemental is always subjective in its origin. It is produced by the person who sees, and who, in order to be more sensible of the elemental's presence, has unconsciously given it a form. Or it may be due to a collective impression on many individuals,


resulting in the assumption of a definite shape which is the result of the combined impressions.

Student.―Is this how we may accept as true the story of Luther's seeing the devil?

Sage.―Yes. Luther from his youth had imagined a personal devil, the head of the fraternity of wicked ones, who had a certain specific form. This instantly clothed the elementals that Luther evoked, either through intense enthusiasm or from disease, with the old image reared and solidified in his mind; and he called it the Devil.

Student.―That reminds me of a friend who told me that in his youth he saw the conventional devil walk out of the fire place and pass across the room, and that ever since he believed the devil had an objective existence.

Sage.―In the same way also you can understand the extraordinary occurrences at Salem in the United States, when hysterical and mediumistic women and children saw the devil and also various imps of different shapes. Some of these gave the victims information. They were all elementals, and took their illusionary forms from the imaginations and memory of the poor people who were afflicted.

Student.―But there are cases where a certain form always appears. Such as a small, curiously-dressed woman who had never existed in the imagination of those seeing her; and other regularly recurring appearances. How were those produced, since the persons never had such a picture before them?

Sage.―These pictures are found in the aura of the person, and are due to pre-natal impressions. Each child emerges into life the possessor of pictures floating about and clinging to it, derived from the mother; and thus you can go back an enormous distance in time for these pictures, all through the long line of your descent. It is a part of the action of the same law which causes effects upon a child's body through influences acting on the mother during gestation.1

1 See Isis Unveiled in the chapter on Teratology.


Student.―In order, then, to know the cause of any such appearance, one must be able to look back, not only into the person's present life, but also into the ancestor's past?

Sage.―Precisely. And for that reason an occultist is not hasty in giving his opinion on these particular facts. He can only state the general law, for a life might be wasted in needless investigation of an unimportant past. You can see that there would be no justification for going over a whole lifetime's small affairs in order to tell a person at what time or juncture an image was projected before his mind. Thousands of such impressions are made every year. That they are not developed into memory does not prove their non-existence. Like the unseen picture upon the photographer's sensitive plate, they lie awaiting the hour of development.

Student.―In what way should I figure to myself the essence of an elemental and its real mode of existence?

Sage.―You should think of these as centres of energy only, that act always in accordance with the laws of the plane of nature to which they belong.

Student.―Is it not just as if we were to say that gunpowder is an elemental and will invariable explode when lighted? That is, that the elementals know no rules of either wrong or right, but surely act when the incitement to their natural action is present? They are thus, I suppose, said to be implacable.

Sage.―Yes; they are like the lightning which flashes or destroys as the varying circumstances compel. It has no regard for man, or love, or beauty, or goodness, but may as quickly kill the innocent, or burn the property of the good as of the wicked man.

Student.―What next?

Sage.―That the elementals live in and through all objects, as well as beyond the earth's atmosphere.

Student.―Do you mean that a certain class of elementals,


for instance, exist in this mountain, and float unobstructed through men, earth, rocks, and trees?

Sage.―Yes, and not only that, but at the same time, penetrating that class of elementals, there may be another class which float not only through rocks, trees, and men, but also through the first of the classes referred to.

Student.―Do they perceive these objects obstructive for us, through which they thus float?

Sage.―No, generally they do not. In exceptional cases they do, and even then never with the same sort of cognition that we have. For them the objects have no existence. A large block of stone or iron offers for them no limits or density. It may, however, make an impression on them by way of change of color or sound, but not by way of density or obstruction.

Student.―It is not something like this, that a current of electricity passes through a hard piece of copper wire, while it will not pass through an unresisting space of air.

Sage.―That serves to show that the thing which is dense to one form of energy may be open to another. Continuing your illustration, we see that man can pass through air but is stopped by metal. So that "hardness" for us is not "hardness" for electricity.

Similarly, that which may stop an elemental is not a body that we call hard, but something which for us is intangible and invisible, but presents to them an adamantine front.

Student.―I thank you for your instruction. Sage.―Strive to deserve further enlightenment!

Path, October, 1888


IN 1875, '76, '77 and '78 my intimacy with H.P.B. gave me many opportunities for conversing with her on what we then called "Magic." These useful, and for me very wonderful, occasions came about late at night, and sometimes during the day. I was then in the habit of calling on her in the daytime whenever I could get away from my office. Many times I stayed in her flat for the purpose of hearing as much and seeing as much as I could. Later on, in 1884, I spent many weeks with her in the Rue Notre Dame des Champs in Paris, sitting beside her day after day and evening after evening; later still in 1888, being with her in London, at Holland Park, I had a few more opportunities. Some of what she said I publish here for the good of those who can benefit by her words. Certainly no greater practical occultist is known to this century: from that point of view what she said will have a certain useful weight with some.


This term was not in use at this time. The conversation was about steps on the Path and returning here again. In answer to a question:

"Yes, you have been here and at this before. You were born with this tendency, and in other lives have met these persons [supposed Adept influences], and they are here to see you for that reason."

Later, when definite terms had come into use, the question raised was whether or not all stayed 1500 years in Devachan.


"Well, Judge, you must know well that under the philosophy we don't all stay there so long. It varies with the character of each. A thoroughly material thinker will emerge sooner than one who is a spiritual philosopher and good. Besides, recollect that all workers for the Lodge, no matter of what degree, are helped out of Devachan if they themselves permit it. Your own idea which you have stated, that 1500 years had not elapsed since you went into Devachan, is correct, and that I tell is what Master himself tells me. So there you are."


In reply to a question on this she said:

"If you think Master is going to be always precipitating things, you mistake. Yes, He can do it. But most of the precipitations are by chelas who would seem to you almost Masters. I see His orders, and the thoughts and words He wishes used, and I precipitate them in that form; so does   and one or two more."

"Well, what of Their handwritings?"

"Anything you write is your handwriting, but it is not your personal handwriting, generally used and first learned if you assume or adopt some form. Now you know that Masters' handwritings, peculiar and personal to Themselves, are foreign both as to sound and form―Indian sorts, in fact. So They adopted a form in English, and in that form I precipitate Their messages as Their direction. Why B almost caught me one day and nearly made a mess of it by shocking me. The message has to be seen in the astral light in facsimile, and through that astral matrix I precipitate the whole of it. It's different, though, if Master sends me the paper and the message already done. That's why I call these things 'psychological tricks.' The sign of an objective wonder seemed to be required, although a moment's thought will show it is not proof of anything but occult ability. Many a medium has had precipitations before my miserable self was heard of. But blessed is the one who wants no sign. You have seen plenty of these


things. Why do you want to ask me? Can't you use your brain and intuition? I've sampled almost the whole possible range of wonders for you. Let them use their brains and intuition with the known facts and the theories given."


"Look here; here's a man who wants to know why the Masters don't interpose at once and save his business. They don't seem to remember what it means for a Master to use occult force. If you explode gunpowder to split a rock you may knock down a house. There is a law that if a White Magician uses his occult power an equal amount of power may be used by the Black one. Chemists invent powders for explosives and wicked men may use them. You force yourself into Master's presence and you take the consequences of the immense forces around him playing on yourself. If you are weak in character anywhere, the Black ones will use the disturbance by directing the forces engendered to that spot and may compass your ruin. It is so always. Pass the boundary that hedges in the occult realm, and quick forces, new ones, dreadful ones, must be met. Then if you are not strong you may become a wreck for that life. This is the danger. This is one reason why Masters do not appear and do not act directly very often, but nearly always by intermediate degrees. What do you say, ―'the dual forces in nature'? Precisely, that's just it; and Theosophists should remember it."


"Now I'm not going to tell you about this. They are just; They embody the Law and Compassion. Do not for an instant imagine that Masters are going to come down on you for your failures and wrongs, if any. Karma looks out for this. Masters' ethics are the highest. From the standpoint of your question, They do not punish. Have I not told you that, much as detractors have cast mud at Them, never will the Masters impose punishment. I cannot see why such a question comes up. Karma will do all the punishing that is necessary."



"It's a long time ago now that I told you this part would not be explained. But I can tell you some things. This one that you and Olcott used to call    can't see you unless I let him. Now I will impress you upon it or him so that like a photograph he will remember so far. But you can't make it obey you until you know how to get the force directed. I'll send him to you and let him make a bell."

[In a few days after this the proposed sign was given at a distance from her, and a little bell was sounded in the air when I was talking with a person not interested in Theosophy, and when I was three miles away from H.P.B.. On next seeing her she asked if    had been over and sounded the bell, mentioning the exact day and time.]

"This one has no form in particular, but is more like a revolving mass of air. But it is, all the same, quite definite, as you know from what he has done. There are some classes with forms of their own. The general division into fiery, airy, earthy, and watery is pretty correct, but it will not cover all the classes. There is not a single thing going on about us, no matter what, the elementals are not concerned in, because they constitute a necessary part of nature, just as important as the nerve currents in your body. Why in storms you should see them how they move about. Don't you remember what you told me about that lady who saw them change and move about at that opera? It was due to her tendencies and the general idea underlying the opera." [ It was the opera of Tristan and Isolde, by Wagner. ―J ] "In that case, as Isolde is Irish, the whole ideas under it aroused a class of elementals peculiar to that island and its traditions. That's a queer place, Judge, that Ireland. It is packed full of a singular class of elementals; and, by Jove! I see they even have emigrated in quite large numbers. Sometimes one quite by accident rouses up some ancient system, say from Egypt; that is the explanation of that singular astral noise which you said reminded you of a sistrum being shaken; it was really objective. But, my dear fellow, do you think I will give you a patent elemental


extractor?―not yet. Bulwer Lytton wrote very wisely, for him, on this subject."

[Riding over in Central Park, New York.] "It is very interesting here. I see a great number of Indians, and also their elementals, just as real as you seem to be. They do not see us; they are all spooks. But look here, Judge, don't confound the magnetism escaping through your skin with the gentle taps of supposed elementals who want a cigarette."

[In W. 34th Street, New York. The first time she spoke to me of elementals particularly, I having asked her about her Spiritualism. ―J.]

"It is nearly all done by elementals. Now I can make them tap anywhere you like in this room. Select any place you wish." [I pointed to a hard plaster wall-space free from objects.] "Now ask what you like that can be answered by taps."

Q. What is my age? Taps: the correct number.

Q. How many in my house? Taps: right.

Q. How many months have I been in the city? Taps: correct.

Q. What number of minutes past the hour by my watch? Taps: right.

Q. How many keys on my ring? Taps: correct.

H.P.B. "Oh bosh! Let it stop. You won't get any more, for I have cut it off. Try your best. They have no sense; they got it all out of your own head, even the keys, for you know inside how many keys are on the ring, though you don't remember; but any how I could see into your pocket and count the number, and then that tapper would give the right reply. There's something better than all that magic nonsense."


In 1888 I was in London and wanted a paper, with about four sentences written on it in purple ink, which I had left in America. I came down to her room where B. Keightley was, and, not saying anything, sat down opposite H.P.B. I thought:


"If only she would get me back some way a copy of that paper." She smiled at me, rose, went into her room, came out at once, and in a moment handed me a piece of paper, passing it right in front of Keightley. To my amazement it was a duplicate of my paper, a facsimile. I then asked her how she got it, and she replied: "I saw it in your head and the rest was easy. You thought it very clearly. You know it can be done; and it was needed." This was all done in about the time it takes to read these descriptive sentences.

Path, April, 1894William Q. Judge


[A series of twelve articles entitled “Conversations on Occultism” was first published by Mr. Judge in the Path magazine. Seven appeared in Volume III, 1888-89; five more were printed in Volume IX, 1894-95, with the additional “Conversations on Occultism with H. P. B.” Regretfully, the article printed here, last of the group, was omitted when the complete series was republished in two pamphlets titled “Conversations on Occultism” and in Volume I of Judge Articles. A printout is included in this issue for students’ use. — Eds.]

STUDENT: At a former time you spoke of entities that crowd the spaces about us. Are these all unconscious or otherwise?

Sage — They are not all unconscious. First, there are the humdrum masses of elementals that move like nerve-currents with every motion of man, beast, or natural elements. Next are classes of those which have a peculiar power and consciousness of their own and not easily reached by any man. Then come the shades of the dead, whether mere floating shells, or animated elementals, or infused with galvanic and extraordinary action by the Brothers of the Shadow. Last, the Brothers of the Shadow, devoid of physical bodies save in rare cases, bad souls living long in that realm and working according to their nature for no other end than evil until they are finally annihilated—they are the lost souls of Kama Loka as distinguished from the "animated corpses" devoid of souls which live and move among men. These Black entities are Dugpas, the Black Magicians.

Student — Have they anything to do with the shocks, knocks, bad influences, disintegration of soft material accompanied by noises more or less distinct?

Sage — Yes, they have. Not always, of course. But where they

New pages 422a, 422b & 422c inserted. — e-Eds.


are actually seen at the time preceding such occurrence, they are the agents.

Student — Then I am to suppose that if such takes place with me I am the attracting person, the unfortunate channel through which they have come?

Sage — No, you are thoroughly in error there. You are not such channel in that case. You are in fact the opposite, and the very cause for the temporary defeat of that dark entity. You have mistaken the appearance, the outer manipulation of forces, for the thing itself. If you were their channel, their agent, the cause for their coming and thus making their presence possible, there would be no noise and no explosion. They would then act in and through you for the hurt of others, silently and insidiously. They approach your sphere and attempt to make entry. The strength of your character, of your aspiration, of your more strong they are, the louder will be their retreating manifestation. For the time they are temporarily destroyed or, rather, put outside the combat, and, like a war vessel have to retire for repairs. In their case this consists in accumulating force for a new attack, there or elsewhere.

Student—If, then, such loud explosions, with pulverization of wall-plaster and the like, take place, and such an evil entity is seen astrally, it follows that the person near whom it all occurred—if identification due to solitude is possible—was in fact the person who, by reason of inner power and opposition to the evil entity, became the cause for its bursting or temporary defeat?

Sage — Yes, that is correct. The person is not the cause for the entity's approach, nor its friend, but is the safeguard in fact for those who otherwise would be insidiously affected. Uninformed students are likely to argue the other way, but that will be due to want of correct knowledge. I will describe to you condensedly an actual case. Sitting at rest on a seat, eyes closed, I saw approach one of those evil entities along the astral currents, and


looking as a man. His hands like claws reached out to affect me; on this face was a devilish expression. Full of force he moved quickly up. But as I looked at him the confidence I felt and the protection about me acted as an intense shock to him, and he appeared to burst from within, to stagger, fall to pieces, and then disappeared. Just as the disintegration began, a loud noise was caused by the sudden discharge of astral electricity, causing reactions that immediately transmitted themselves into the objects in the room, until, reaching the limit of tension, they created a noise. This is just the phenomenon of thunder, which accompanies discharges in the clouds and is followed by equilibrium.

Student — Can I carry this explanation into every objective phenomenon, say, then, of spiritualistic rappings?

Sage — No, not to every case. It holds with many, but specially relates to the conscious entities I was speaking of. Very often the small taps and raps one hears are produced under the law referred to, but without the presence of such an entity. These are the final dissipations of collected energy. That does not always argue a present extraneous and conscious entity. But in so far as these taps are the conclusion of an operation, that is, the thunder from one astral cloud to another, they are dissipations of accumulated force. With this distinction in mind you should not be confused.

Student — Have not colors a good deal to do with this matter?

Sage — Yes; but just now we will not go into the question of color except to say that the evil entities referred to often assume a garb of good color, but are not able to hide the darkness that belongs to their nature.

Path, February, 1895William Q. Judge



The following was written by me at the dictation of H.P.B. in 1888 with the purpose of printing it at that time. But it was not used then, and as I brought it home with me it is now of interest. - W.Q.J.

Q.―It has struck me while thinking over the difference between ordinary people and an adept or even a partly developed student, that the rate of vibration of the brain molecules, as well as the coördination of those with the vibrations of the higher brain, may lie at the bottom of the difference and also might explain many other problems.

H.P.B.―So they do. They make differences and also cause many curious phenomena; and the differences among all persons are greatly due to vibrations of all kinds.

Q.―In reading the article ["Aum!"] in the PATH of April, 1886, this idea was again suggested. I open at p. 6, Vol. I.

The divine Resonance spoken of above is not the Divine Light itself. The Resonance is only the outbreathing of the first sound of the entire Aum. . . . It manifests itself not only as the power which stirs up and animates the particles of the universe, but also in the evolution and dissolution of man, of the animal and mineral kingdoms, and the Solar system. Among the Aryans it was represented by the planet Mercury, who has always been said to govern the intellectual faculties and to be the universal stimulator.

What of this?

H.P.B.―Mercury was always known as the god of secret wisdom. He is Hermes as well as Budha the son of Soma. Speaking of matters on the lower plane, I would call the "Divine Resonance" you read of in the PATH "vibrations"


and the originator, or that which gives the impulse to every kind of phenomena in the astral plane.

Q.―The differences found in human brains and natures must, then, have their root in differences of vibration?

H.P.B.―Most assuredly so.

Q.―Speaking of mankind as a whole, is it true that all have one key or rate of vibration to which they respond?

H.P.B.―Human beings in general are like so many keys on the piano, each having its own sound, and the combination of which produces other sounds in endless variety. Like inanimate nature they have a key-note from which all the varieties of character and constitution proceed by endless changes. Remember what was said in Isis Unveiled at p. 16, Vol. I, "The Universe is the combination of a thousand elements, and yet the expression of a single spirit,―a chaos to the sense (physical), a cosmos to the reason" (manas).

Q.―So far this applies generally to nature. Does it explain the difference between the adept and ordinary people?

H.P.B.―Yes. This difference is that an adept may be compared to that one key which contains all the keys in the great harmony of nature. He has the synthesis of all keys in his thoughts, whereas ordinary man has the same key as a basis, but only acts and thinks on one or a few changes of this great key, producing with his brain only a few chords out of the whole great possible harmony.

Q.―Has this something to do with the fact that a disciple may hear the voice of his master through the astral spaces, while another man cannot hear or communicate with the adepts?

H.P.B.―This is because the brain of a chela is attuned by training to the brain of the Master. His vibrations synchronize with those of the Adept, and the untrained brain is not so attuned. So the chela's brain is abnormal, looking at it from the standpoint of ordinary life, while that of the ordinary man is normal for worldly purposes. The latter person may be


compared to those who are color-blind.

Q.―How am I to understand this?

H.P.B.―What is considered normal from the view of the physician is considered abnormal from the view of occultism, and vice versâ. The difference between a color-blind signal man who mistakes the lamps and the adept who sees is that the one takes one color for another, while the adept sees all the colors in every color and yet does not confuse them together.

Q.―Has the adept, then, raised his vibrations so as to have them the same as those of nature as a whole?

H.P.B.―Yes; the highest adepts. But there are other adepts who, while vastly in advance of all men, are still unable to vibrate to such a degree.

Q.―Can the adept produce at his will a vibration which will change one color to another?

H.P.B.―He can produce a sound which will alter a color. It is the sound which produces the color, and not the other or opposite. By correlating the vibrations of a sound in the proper way a new color is made.

Q.―Is it true that on the astral plane every sound always produces a color?

H.P.B.―Yes; but these are invisible because not yet correlated by the human brain so as to become visible on the earth plane. Read Galton, who gives experiments with colors and sounds as seen by psychics and sensitives, showing that many sensitive people always see a color for every sound. The color-blind man has coming to him the same vibrations as will show red, but not being able to sense these he alters the amount, so to say, and then sees a color corresponding to the vibrations he can perceive out of the whole quantity. His astral senses may see the true color, but the physical eye has its own vibrations, and these, being on the outer plane, overcome the others for the time, and the astral man is compelled to report to the brain that it saw correctly. For in each case


the outer stimulus is sent to the inner man, who then is forced, as it were, to accept the message and to confirm it for the time so far as it goes. But there are cases where the inner man is able to even then overcome the outer defect and to make the brain see the difference. In many cases of lunacy the confusion among the vibrations of all kinds is so enormous that there is not correlation between the inner and the outer man, and we have then a case of aberration. But even in some of these unfortunate cases the person inside is all the time aware that he is not insane but cannot make himself be understood. Thus often persons are driven really insane by wrong treatment.

Q.―By what manner of vibrations do the elementals make colors and lights of variety?

H.P.B.―That is a question I cannot reply to though it is well known to me. Did I not tell you that secrets might be revealed too soon?

Path, June, 1893


STUDENT.―What is Occultism?

Sage.―It is that branch of knowledge which shows the universe in the form of an egg. The cell of science is a little copy of the egg of the universe. The laws which govern the whole govern also every part of it. As man is a little copy of the universe―is the microcosm―he is governed by the same laws which rule the greater. Occultism teaches therefore of the secret laws and forces of the universe and man, those forces playing in the outer world and known in part only by the men of the day who admit no invisible real nature, behind which is the model of the visible.

Student.―What does Occultism teach in regard to man, broadly speaking?

Sage.―That he is the highest product of evolution, and hence has in him a centre or focus corresponding to each centre of force or power in the universe. He therefore has as many centres or foci for force, power, and knowledge as there are such in the greater world about and within.

Student.―Do you mean to include also the ordinary run of men, or is it the exceptions you refer to?

Sage.―I include every human being, and that will reach from the lowest to the very highest, both those we know and those beyond us who are suspected as being in existence. Although we are accustomed to confine the term "human" to this earth, it is not correct to confine that sort of being to this plane or globe, because other planets have beings the same as ours in essential power and nature and possibility.


Student.―Please explain a little more particularly what you mean by our having centres or foci in us.

Sage.―Electricity is a most powerful force not fully known to modern science, yet used very much. The nervous, physical, and mental systems of man acting together are able to produce the same force exactly, and in a finer as well as subtler way and to as great a degree as the most powerful dynamo, so that the force might be used to kill, to alter, to move, or otherwise change any object or condition. This is the "vril" described by Bulwer Lytton in his Coming Race.

Nature exhibits to our eyes the power of drawing into one place with fixed limits any amount of material so as to produce the smallest natural object or the very largest. Out of the air she takes what is already there, and by compressing it into the limits of tree or animal form makes it visible to our material eyes. This is the power of condensing into what may be known as the ideal limits, that is, into the limits of the form which is ideal. Man has this same power, and can, when he knows the laws and the proper centres of force in himself, do precisely what Nature does. He can thus make visible and material what was before ideal and invisible by filling the ideal form with the matter condensed from the air. In his case the only difference from Nature is that he does quickly what she brings about slowly.

Among natural phenomena there is no present illustration of telepathy good for our use. Among the birds and the beasts, however, there is telepathy instinctually performed. But telepathy, as it is now called, is the communicating of thought or idea from mind to mind. This is a natural power, and being well-understood may be used by one mind to convey to another, no matter how far away or what be the intervening obstacle, any idea or thought. In natural things we can take for that the vibration of the chord which can cause all other chords of the same length to vibrate similarly. This is a branch of Occultism, a part of which is known to the modern investigator. But it is also one of the most useful and one of the greatest powers we have. To make it of service many things


have to combine. While it is used every day in common life in the average way―for men are each moment telepathically communicating with each other―to do it in perfection, that is, against obstacle and distance, is perfection of occult art. Yet it will be known one day even to the common world.

Student.―Is there any object had in view by Nature which man should also hold before him?

Sage.―Nature ever works to turn the inorganic or the lifeless or the non-intelligent and non-conscious into the organic, the intelligent, the conscious; and this should be the aim of man also. In her great movements Nature seems to cause destruction, but that is only for the purpose of construction. The rocks are dissolved into earth, elements combine to bring on change, but there is the ever onward march of progress in evolution. Nature is not destructive of either thing or time, she is constructive. Man should be the same. And as a free moral agent he should work to that end, and not to procuring gratification merely nor for waste in any department.

Student.―Is Occultism of truth or of falsehood; is it selfish or unselfish; or is it part one and part the other?

Sage.―Occultism is colorless, and only when used by man for the one side or the other is it good or bad. Bad Occultism, or that which is used for selfish ends, is not false, for it is the same as that which is for good ends. Nature is two-sided, negative and positive, good and bad, light and dark, hot and cold, spirit and matter. The Black magician is as powerful in the matter of phenomena as the White, but in the end all the trend of Nature will go to destroy the black and save the white. But what you should understand is that the false man and the true can both be occultists. The words of the Christian teacher Jesus will give the rule for judgment: "By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?" Occultism is the general, all-inclusive term, the differentiating terms are White and Black; the same forces are used by both, and similar laws, for there are no special laws in this universe for any special set of workers in Nature's secrets. But the path of the untruthful and the wicked, while


seemingly easy at first, is hard at last, for the black workers are the friends of no one, they are each against the other as soon as interest demands, and that may be anytime. It is said that final annihilation of the personal soul awaits those who deal in the destructive side of Nature's hall of experience.

Student.―Where should I look for the help I need in the right life, the right study?

Sage.―Within yourself is the light that lighteth every man who cometh here. The light of the Higher Self and of the Mahâtma are not different from each other. Unless you find your Self, how can you understand Nature?

Path, October, 1894


STUDENT.―What is the effect of trying to develop the power of seeing in the astral light before a person is initiated?

Sage.―Seeing in the astral light is not done through Manas, but through the senses, and hence has to do entirely with sense-perception removed to a plane different from this, but more illusionary. The final perceiver or judge of perception is in Manas, in the Self; and therefore the final tribunal is clouded by the astral perception if one is not so far trained or initiated as to know the difference and able to tell the true from the false. Another result is a tendency to dwell on this subtle sense-perception, which at last will cause an atrophy of Manas for the time being. This makes the confusion all the greater, and will delay any possible initiation all the more or forever. Further, such seeing is in the line of phenomena, and adds to the confusion of the Self which is only beginning to understand this life; by attempting the astral another element of disorder is added by more phenomena due to another plane, thus mixing both sorts up. The Ego must find its basis and not be swept off hither and thither. The constant reversion of images and ideas in the astral light, and the pranks of the elementals there, unknown to us as such and only seen in effects, still again add to the confusion. To sum it up, the real danger from which all others flow or follow is in the confusion of the Ego by introducing strange things to it before the time.

Student.―How is one to know when he gets real occult information from the Self within?


Sage.―Intuition must be developed and the matter judged from the true philosophical basis, for if it is contrary to true general rules it is wrong. It has to be known from a deep and profound analysis by which we find out what is from egotism alone and what is not; if it is due to egotism, then it is not from the Spirit and is untrue. The power to know does not come from book-study nor from mere philosophy, but mostly from the actual practice of altruism in deed, word, and thought; for that practice purifies the covers of the soul and permits that light to shine down into the brain-mind. As the brain-mind is the receiver in the waking state, it has to be purified from sense-perception, and the truest way to do this is by combining philosophy with the highest outward and inward virtue.

Student.―Tell me some ways by which intuition is to be developed.

Sage.―First of all by giving it exercise, and second by not using it for purely personal ends. Exercise means that it must be followed through mistakes and bruises until from sincere attempts at use it comes to its own strength. This does not mean that we can do wrong and leave the results, but that after establishing conscience on a right basis by following the golden rule, we give play to the intuition and add to its strength. Inevitably in this at first we will make errors, but soon if we are sincere it will grow brighter and make no mistake. We should add the study of the works of those who in the past have trodden this path and found out what is the real and what is not. They say the Self is the only reality. The brain must be given larger views of life, as by the study of the doctrine of reincarnation, since that gives a limitless field to the possibilities in store. We must not only be unselfish, but must do all the duties that Karma has given us, and thus intuition will point out the road of duty and the true path of life.

Student.―Are there any Adepts in America or Europe?

Sage.―Yes, there are and always have been. But they have for the present kept themselves hidden from the public gaze.


The real ones have a wide work to do in many departments of life and in preparing certain persons who have a future work to do. Though their influence is wide they are not suspected, and that is the way they want to work for the present. There are some also who are at work with certain individuals in some of the aboriginal tribes in America, as among those are Egos who are to do still more work in another incarnation, and they must be prepared for it now. Nothing is omitted by these Adepts. In Europe it is the same way, each sphere of work being governed by the time and the place.

Student.―What is the meaning of the five-pointed star?

Sage.―It is the symbol of the human being who is not an Adept, but is now on the plane of the animal nature as to his life-thoughts and development inside. Hence it is the symbol of the race. Upside down it means death or symbolizes that. It also means, when upside down, the other or dark side. It is at the same time the cross endowed with the power of mind, that is, man.

Student.―Is there a four-pointed star symbol?

Sage.―Yes. That is the symbol of the next kingdom below man, and pertains to the animals. The right kind of clairvoyant can see both the five- and the four-pointed star. It is all produced by the intersections of the lines or currents of the astral light emanating from the person or being. The four-pointed one means that the being having but it has not as yet developed Manas.

Student.―Has the mere figure of a five-pointed star any power in itself?

Sage.―It has some, but very little. You see it is used by all sorts of people for trademarks and the like, and for the purposes of organizations, yet no result follows. It must be actually used by the mind to be of any force or value. If so used, it carries with it the whole power of the person to whom it may belong.

Student.―Why is the sword so much spoken of in practical Occultism by certain writers?


Sage.―Many indeed of these writers merely repeat what they have read. But there is a reason, just as in warfare the sword has more use for damage than a club. The astral light corresponds to water. If you try to strike in or under water with a club, it will be found that there is but little result, but a sharp knife will cut almost as well under water as out of it. The friction is less. So in the astral light a sword used on that plane has more power to cut than a club has, and an elemental for that reason will be more easily damaged by a sword than by a club or a stone. But all of this relates to things that are of no right value to the true student, and are indulged in only by those who work in dark magic or foolishly by those who do not quite know what they do. It is certain that he who uses the sword or the club will be at last hurt by it. And the lesson to be drawn is that we must seek for the true Self that knows all Occultism and all truth, and has in itself the protecting shield from all dangers. That is what the ancient Sages sought and found, and that is what should be striven after by us.

Path, November, 1894


STUDENT.―Is there not some attitude of mind which one should in truth assume in order to understand the occult in Nature?

Sage.―Such attitude of mind must be attained as will enable one to look into the realities of things. The mind must escape from the mere formalities and conventions of life, even though outwardly one seems to obey all of them, and should be firmly established on the truth that Man is a copy of the Universe and has in himself a portion of the Supreme Being. To the extent this is realized will be the clearness of perception of truth. A realization of this leads inevitably to the conclusion that all other men and beings are united with us, and this removes the egotism which is the result of the notion of separateness. When the truth of Unity is understood, then distinctions due to comparisons made like the Pharisee's, that one is better than his neighbor, disappear from the mind, leaving it more pure and free to act.

Student.―What would you point out as a principal foe to the mind's grasping of truth?

Sage.―The principal foe of a secondary nature is what was once called phantasy; that is, the reappearance of thoughts and images due to recollection or memory. Memory is an important power, but mind in itself is not memory. Mind is restless and wandering in its nature, and must be controlled. Its wandering disposition is necessary or stagnation would result. But it can be controlled and fixed upon an object or idea. Now as we are constantly looking at and hearing of new things, the natural restlessness of the mind becomes


prominent when we set about pinning it down. Then memory of many objects, things, subjects, duties, persons, circumstances, and affairs brings up before it the various pictures and thoughts belonging to them. After these the mind at once tries to go, and we find ourselves wandering from the point. It must hence follow that the storing of a multiplicity of useless and surely-recurring thoughts is an obstacle to the acquirement of truth. And this obstacle is the very one peculiar to our present style of life.

Student.―Can you mention some of the relations in which the sun stands to us and nature in respect to Occultism?

Sage.―It has many such, and all important. But I would draw your attention first to the greater and more comprehensive. The sun is the center of our solar system. The life- energies of that system come to it through the sun, which is a focus or reflector for the spot in space where the real center is. And not only comes mere life through that focus, but also much more that is spiritual in its essence. The sun should therefore not only be looked at with the eye but thought of by the mind. It represents to the world what the Higher Self is to the man. It is the soul-center of the world with its six companions, as the Higher Self is the center for the six principles of man. So it supplies to those six principles of the man many spiritual essences and powers. He should for that reason think of it and not confine himself to gazing at it. So far as it acts materially in light, heat, and gravity, it will go on of itself, but man as a free agent must think upon it in order to gain what benefit can come only from his voluntary action in thought.

Student.―Will you refer to some minor one?

Sage.―Well, we sit in the sun for heat and possible chemical effects. But if at the same time that we do this we also think on it as the sun in the sky and of its possible essential nature, we thereby draw from it some of its energy not otherwise touched. This can also be done on a dark day when clouds obscure the sky, and some of the benefit thus be obtained. Natural mystics, learned and ignorant, have discovered


this for themselves here and there, and have often adopted the practice. But it depends, as you see, upon the mind.

Student.―Does the mind actually do anything when it takes up a thought and seeks for more light?

Sage.―It actually does. A thread, or a finger, or a long darting current flies out from the brain to seek for knowledge. It goes in all directions and touches all other minds it can reach so as to receive the information if possible. This is telepathically, so to say, accomplished. There are no patents on true knowledge of philosophy nor copyrights in that realm. Personal rights of personal life are fully respected, save by potential black magicians who would take anyone's property. But general truth belongs to all, and when the unseen messenger from one mind arrives and touches the real mind of another, that other gives up to it what it may have of truth about general subjects. So the mind's finger or wire flies until it gets the thought or seed-thought from the other and makes it its own. But our modern competitive system and selfish desire for gain and fame is constantly building a wall around people's minds to everyone's detriment.

Student.―Do you mean that the action you describe is natural, usual, and universal, or only done by those who know how and are conscious of it?

Sage.―It is universal and whether the person is aware or not of what is going on. Very few are able to perceive it in themselves, but that makes no difference. It is done always. When you sit down to earnestly think on a philosophical or ethical matter, for instance, your mind flies off, touching other minds, and from them you get varieties of thought. If you are not well-balanced and psychically purified, you will often get thoughts that are not correct. Such is your Karma and the Karma of the race. But if you are sincere and try to base yourself on right philosophy, your mind will naturally reject wrong notions. You can see in this how it is that systems of thought are made and kept going, even though foolish, incorrect, or pernicious.


Student.―What mental attitude and aspiration are the best safeguards in this, as likely to aid the mind in these searches to reject error and not let it fly into the brain?

Sage.―Unselfishness, Altruism in theory and practice, desire to do the will of the Higher Self which is the "Father in Heaven," devotion to the human race. Subsidiary to these are discipline, correct thinking, and good education.

Student.―Is the uneducated man, then, in a worse condition?

Sage.―Not necessarily so. The very learned are so immersed in one system that they reject nearly all thoughts not in accord with preconceived notions. The sincere ignorant one is often able to get the truth but not able to express it. The ignorant masses generally hold in their minds the general truths of Nature, but are limited as to expression. And most of the best discoveries of scientific men have been obtained in this sub-conscious telepathic mode. Indeed, they often arrive in the learned brain from some obscure and so-called ignorant person, and then the scientific discoverer makes himself famous because of his power of expression and means for giving it out.

Student.―Does this bear at all upon the work of the Adepts of all good Lodges?

Sage.―It does. They have all the truths that could be desired, but at the same time are able to guard them from the seeking minds of those who are not yet ready to use them properly. But they often find the hour ripe and a scientific man ready, and then touch his cogitating mind with a picture of what he seeks. He then has a "flash" of thought in the line of his deliberations, as many of them have admitted. He gives it out to the world, becomes famous, and the world wiser. This is constantly done by the Adepts, but now and then they give out larger expositions of Nature's truths, as in the case of H.P.B. This is not at first generally accepted, as personal gain and fame are not advanced by any admission of benefit


from the writings of another, but as it is done with a purpose, for the use of a succeeding century, it will do its work at the proper time.

Student.―How about the Adepts knowing what is going on in the world of thought, in the West, for instance?

Sage.―They have only to voluntarily and consciously connect their minds with those of the dominant thinkers of the day to at once discover what has been or is being worked out in thought and to review it all. This they constantly do, and as constantly incite to further elaborations or changes by throwing out the suggestion in the mental plane so that seeking and receptive minds may use it.

Path, December, 1894


Student.―Are there any rules, binding on all, in white magic or good occultism? I mean rules similar to the ten commandments of the Christians, or the rules for the protection of life, liberty, and property recognized by human law.

Sage.―There are such rules of the most stringent character, the breaking of which is never wiped out save by expiation. Those rules are not made up by some brain or mind, but flow from the laws of nature, of mind, and of soul. Hence they are impossible of nullification. One may break them and seem to escape for a whole life or for more than a life; but the very breaking of them sets in motion at once other causes which begin to make effects, and most unerringly those effects at last react on the violator. Karma here acts as it does elsewhere, and becomes a Nemesis who, though sometimes slow, is fate itself in its certainty.

Student.―It is not, then, the case that when an occultist violates a rule some other adept or agent starts out like a detective or policeman and brings the culprit to justice at a bar or tribunal such as we sometimes read of in the imaginative works of mystical writers or novelists?

Sage.―No, there is no such pursuit. On the contrary, all the fellow-adepts or students are but too willing to aid the offender, not in escaping punishment, but in sincerely trying to set counteracting causes in motion for the good of all. For the sin of one reacts on the whole human family. If, however, the culprit does not wish to do the amount of counteracting good, he is merely left alone to the law of nature, which is in


fact that of his own inner life from which there can be no escape. In Lytton's novel, Zanoni, you will notice the grave Master, Mejnour, trying to aid Zanoni, even at the time when the latter was falling slowly but surely into the meshes twisted by himself that ended in his destruction. Mejnour knew the law and so did Zanoni. The latter was suffering from some former error which he had to work out; the former, if himself too stern and unkind, would later on come to the appropriate grief for such a mistake. But meanwhile he was bound to help his friend, as are all those who really believe in brotherhood.

Student.―What one of those rules in any way corresponds to "Thou shalt not steal"?

Sage.―That one which was long ago expressed by the ancient sage in the words, "Do not covet the wealth of any creature." This is better than "Thou shalt not steal," for you cannot steal unless you covet. If you steal for hunger you may be forgiven, but you coveted the food for a purpose, just as another covets merely for the sake of possession. The wealth of others includes all their possessions, and does not mean mere money alone. Their ideas, their private thoughts, their mental forces, powers, and faculties, their psychic powers - all, indeed, on all planes that they own or have. While they in that realm are willing to give it all away, it must not be coveted by another.

You have no right, therefore, to enter into the mind of another who has not given the permission and take from him what is not yours. You become a burglar on the mental and psychic plane when you break this rule. You are forbidden taking anything for personal gain, profit, advantage, or use. But you may take what is for general good, if you are far enough advanced and good enough to be able to extricate the personal element from it. This rule would, you can see, cut off all those who are well known to every observer, who want psychic powers for themselves and their own uses. If such persons had those powers of inner sight and hearing that they so much want, no power could prevent them from committing theft on the unseen planes wherever they met a nature that


was not protected. And as most of us are very far from perfect, so far, indeed, that we must work for many lives, yet the Masters of Wisdom do not aid our defective natures in the getting of weapons that would cut our own hands. For the law acts implacably, and the breaches made would find their end and result in long after years. The Black Lodge, however, is very willing to let any poor, weak, or sinful mortal get such power, because that would swell the number of victims they so much require.

Student.―Is there any rule corresponding to "Thou shalt not bear false witness"?

Sage.―Yes; the one which requires you never to inject into the brain of another a false or untrue thought. As we can project our thoughts to another's mind, we must not throw untrue ones to another. It comes before him, and he, overcome by its strength perhaps, finds it echoing in him, and it is a false witness speaking falsely within, confusing and confounding the inner spectator who lives on thought.

Student.―How can one prevent the natural action of the mind when pictures of the private lives of others rise before one?

Sage.―That is difficult for the run of men. Hence the mass have not the power in general; it is kept back as much as possible. But when the trained soul looks about in the realm of soul it is also able to direct its sight, and when it finds rising up a picture of what it should not voluntarily take, it turns its face away. A warning comes with all such pictures which must be obeyed. This is not a rare rule or piece of information, for there are many natural clairvoyants who know it very well, though many of them do not think that others have the same knowledge.

Student.―What do you mean by a warning coming with the picture?

Sage.―In this realm the slightest thought becomes a voice or a picture. All thoughts make pictures. Every person has his private thoughts and desires. Around these he makes also a


picture of his wish for privacy, and that to the clairvoyant becomes a voice or picture of warning which seems to say it must be let alone. With some it may assume the form of a person who says not to approach, with others it will be a voice, with still others a simple but certain knowledge that the matter is sacred. All these varieties depend on the psychological idiosyncrasies of the seer.

Student.―What kind of thought or knowledge is excepted from these rules?

Sage.―General, and philosophical, religious, and moral. That is to say, there is no law of copyright or patent which is purely human in invention and belongs to the competitive system. When a man thinks out truly a philosophical problem it is not his under the laws of nature; it belongs to all; he is not in this realm entitled to any glory, to any profit, to any private use in it. Hence the seer may take as much of it as he pleases, but must on his part not claim it or use it for himself. Similarly with other generally beneficial matters. They are for all. If a Spencer thinks out a long series of wise things good for all men, the seer can take them all. Indeed, but few thinkers do any original thinking. They pride themselves on doing so, but in fact their seeking minds go out all over the world of mind and take from those of slower movement what is good and true, and then make them their own, sometimes gaining glory, sometimes money, and in this age claiming all as theirs and profiting by it.

Path, January, 1895



THE Word "precipitation" means to throw upon or within. This term is used in chemistry to describe the fact of a substance, held or suspended in fluid, being made to disengage itself from the intimate union with the fluid and to fall upon the bottom of the receptacle in which it is held; in the use of applied electricity it may be used to describe the throwing upon a metal or other plate, of particles of another metal held in suspension in the fluid of the electric bath. These two things are done every day in nearly all the cities of the world, and are so common as to be ordinary. In photography the same effect is described by the word "develop," which is the appearing on the surface of the sensitized gelatine plate of the image caught by the camera. In chemical precipitation the atoms fall together and become visible as a separate substance in the fluid; in photography the image made by an alteration of the atoms composing the whole surface appears in the mass of the sensitized plate.

In both cases we have the coming forth into visibility of that which before was invisible. In the case of precipitation of a substance in the form of a powder at the bottom of the receptacle containing the fluid, there is distinctly, (a) before the operation an invisibility of a mass of powder, (b) upon applying the simple means for precipitation the sudden coming into sight of that which was before unseen.

And precisely as the powder may be precipitated in the fluid, so also from the air there can be drawn and precipitated


the various metals and substances suspended therein. This has been so often done by chemists and others that no proofs are needed.

The ancients and all the occultists of past and present have always asserted that all metals, substances, pigments, and materials exist in the air held in suspension, and this has been admitted by modern science. Gold, silver, iron and other metals may be volatilized by heat so as to float unseen in the air, and this is also brought about every day in various mines and factories of the world. It may therefore be regarded as established beyond controversy that as a physical fact precipitation of substances, whether as merely carbon or metal, is possible and is done every day. We can then take another step with the subject.

Is it possible to precipitate by will-power and use of occult laws upon a surface of wood, paper, metal, stone, or glass a mass of substance in lines or letters or other combinations so as to produce an intelligible picture or a legible message? For modern science this is not possible, yet; for the Adept it is possible, has been done, and will be still performed. It has also been done unintelligently and as mere passive agents or channels, among mediums in the ranks of European and American spiritualists. But in this latter case it has the value, and no more than that, of the operations of nature upon and with natural objects, to be imitated by conscious and intelligently acting man when he has learned how, by what means, and when. The medium is only a passive controlled agent or channel who is ignorant of the laws and forces employed, as well as not knowing what is the intelligence at work, nor whether that intelligence is outside of a part of the medium.

The Adept, on the other hand, knows how such a precipitation can be done, what materials may be used, where those materials are obtainable, how they can be drawn out of the air, and what general and special laws must be taken into account. That this operation can be performed I know of my own knowledge; I have seen it done, watching the process as it proceeded, and have seen the effect produced without a


failure. One of these instances I will give later on.

Precipitation of words or messages from Adepts has been much spoken of in the Theosophical Society's work, and the generality of persons have come to some wrong conclusions as to what they must be like, as well as how they are done and what materials may be and are used. Most suppose as follows:

  1. That the precipitate messages are on rice paper;
  2. That they are invariably in one or two colors of some sort of chalk or carbon;
  3. That in every case they are incorporated into the fibre of the paper so as to be ineradicable.;
  4. That in each case when finished they came from Tibet or some other distant place invisibly through the air;
  5. That all of them are done by the hand of the Adept and are in his handwriting as commonly used by him or them.

While it is true in fact that each of the above particulars may have been present in some of the cases and that every one of the above is possible, it is not correct that the above are right as settled facts and conclusions. For the way, means, methods, conditions, and results of precipitation are as varied and numerous as any other operation of nature. The following is laid down by some of the masters of this art as proper to be kept in mind.

  1. A precipitated picture or message may be on any sort of paper.
  2. It may be in black or any other pigment.
  3. It may be in carbon, chalk, ink, paint, or other fluid or substance.
  4. It may be on any sort of surface or any kind of material.
  5. It may be incorporated in the fibre of the paper and be thus ineffaceable, or lie upon the surface and be easily eradicated.
  1. It may come through the air as a finished message on paper or otherwise, or it may be precipitated at once at the place of reception on any kind of substance and in any sort of place.
  2. It is not necessarily in the handwriting of the Adept, and may be in the hand comprehended by the recipient and a language foreign to the Adept, or it may be in the actual hand of the Adept, or lastly in a cipher known to a few and not decipherable by any one without its key.
  3. As matter of fact the majority of the messages precipitated or sent by the Adepts in the history of the Theosophical Society have been in certain forms of English writing not the usual writing of those Adepts, but adopted for use in the Theosophical movement because of a foreknowledge that the principal language of that movement would for some time be the English.

Some messages have been written and precipitated in Hindu or Urdu, some in Hindustani, and some in a cipher perfectly unintelligible to all but a few persons. These assertions I make upon personal knowledge founded on observation, on confirmation through an inspection of messages, and on logical deduction made from facts and philosophical propositions. In the first place, the Adepts referred to―and not including silent ones of European birth―are Asiatics whose languages are two different Indian ones: hence their usual handwriting is not English and not Roman in letters. Secondly, it is a fact long suspected and to many well known both in and out of the Theosophical Society that the Fraternity of Adepts has a cipher which they employ for many of their communications: that, being universal, is not their handwriting. Thirdly, in order to send any one a precipitated message in English it is not necessary for the Adept to know that language; if you know it, that is enough; for, putting the thought in your brain, he sees it there as your language in your brain, and using that model causes the message to appear. But if he is acquainted with the language you use, it is all the easier for the Adept to


give you the message exactly as he forms it in his brain at first. The same law applies to all cases of precipitation by an alleged spirit through a medium who does not know at all how it is done; in such a case it is all done by natural and chiefly irresponsible agents who can only imitate what is in the brains concerned in the matter.

These points being considered, the questions remain, How is it all done, what is the process, what are the standards of judgment, of criticism, and of proof to the outer sense, is imposition possible, and, if so how may it be prevented?

As to the last, the element of faith or confidence can never be omitted until one has gotten to a stage where within oneself the true standard and power of judging are developed. Just as forgery may be done on this physical plane, so also may it be done on the other and unseen planes and its results shown on this. Ill-disposed souls may work spiritual wickedness, and ignorant living persons may furnish idle, insincere, and lying models for not only ill-disposed souls that are out of the body, but also for mere sprites that are forces in nature of considerable power but devoid of conscience and mind. Mind is not needed in them, for they use the mind of man, and merely with this aid work the hidden laws of matter. But this furnishes some protection illustrated in the history of spiritualism, where so many messages are received that on their face are nonsense and evidently but the work of elementals who simply copy what the medium or the sitter is vainly holding in mind. In those cases some good things have come, but they are never beyond the best thought of the persons who, living, thus attempt to speak with the dead.

Any form of writing once written on earth is imprinted in the astral light and remains there as model. And if it has been used much, it is all the more deeply imprinted. Hence the fact that H.P. Blavatsky, who once was the means for messages coming from the living Adepts, is dead and gone is not a reason why the same writing should not be used again. It was used so much in letters to Mr. Sinnett from which Esoteric Buddhism was written and in many other letters from the same


source that its model or matrix is deeply cut in the astral light. For it would be folly and waste of time for the Adepts to make new models every time any one died. They would naturally use the old model. There is no special sanctity in the particular model used by them, and any good clairvoyant can find that matrix in the astral light. Hence from this, if true, two things follow: (a) that new communications need not be in a new style of writing, and (b) there is a danger that persons who seek either clairvoyants or mesmerized lucides may be imposed on and made to think they have messages from the Adepts, when in fact they have only imitations. The safeguard therein is that, if these new messages are not in concordance with old ones known to be from their first appointed channel, they are not genuine in their source, however phenomenally made. Of course for the person who has the power inside to see for himself, the safeguard is different and more certain. This position accords with occult philosophy, it has been stated by the Adepts themselves, it is supported by the facts of psychic investigation inside the ranks of Spiritualism, of Theosophy, of human life.

It is well known that mediums have precipitated messages on slates, on paper, and on even the human skin, which in form and manner exactly copied the hand of one dead and gone, and also of the living. The model for the writing was in the aura of the enquirer, as most mediums are not trained enough to be able independently to seek out and copy astral models not connected with some one present. I exclude all cases where the physical or astral hand of the medium wrote the message, for the first is fraud and the second a psychological trick. In the last case, the medium gazing into the astral light sees the copy or model there and merely makes a facsimile of what is thus seen, but which is invisible to the sitter. There is no exemption from law in favor of the Adepts, and the images they make or cause to be made in astral ether remain as the property of the race; indeed in their case, as they have a sharp and vivid power of engraving, so to say in the astral light, all the images made there by them are deeper


and more lasting than those cut by the ordinary and weak thoughts and acts of our undeveloped humanity.

The best rules for those who happen to think they are in communication with Adepts through written messages is to avoid those that contradict what the Adepts have said before; that give the lie to their system of philosophy; that, as has happened, pretend that H.P.B. was mistaken in her life for what she said and is now sorry. All such, whether done with intention or without it, are merely bombinans in vacuo, sound that has no significance, a confusion between words and knowledge delusive and vain altogether. And as we know that the Adepts have written that they have no concern with the progress of selfish science, it must be true that messages which go on merely to the end of establishing some scientific proposition or that are not for the furtherance especially of Brotherhood cannot be from them, but are the product of other minds, a mere extension through occult natural law of theories of weak men. This leads to the proposition that:

Precipitation of a message is not per se evidence that it is from one of our White Adepts of the Great Lodge.


The outer senses cannot give a safe final judgment upon a precipitated message, they can only settle such physical questions as how it came, through whom, the credibility of the person, and whether any deception on the objective plane has been practiced. The inner senses, including the great combining faculty or power of intuition, are the final judges. The outer have to do solely with the phenomenal part, the inner deal with the causes and the real actors and powers.

As precipitations have been phenomenally made through "controlled" mediums who are themselves ignorant of the laws and forces at work, these are but strange phenomena proving the existence of a power in Nature either related to human mind or wholly unrelated to it. These are not the exercise of Occult Arts, but simply the operation of natural law, however recondite and obscure. They are like the burning of a


flame, the falling of water, or the rush of the lightning, whereas when the Adept causes a flame to appear where there is no wick, or a sound to come where there is no vibrating visible surface, occult art is using the same laws and forces which with the medium are automatically and unconsciously operated by subtle parts of the medium's nature and "nature spirits," as well as what we know as Kama-lokic human entities, in combination. And here the outer senses deal solely with the outer phenomena, being unable to touch in the least on the unseen workings behind. So they can only decide whether a physical fraud has been practiced; they can note the day, the hour, the surrounding circumstances, but no more.

But if one hitherto supposed to be in communication with the White Adepts comes to us and says "Here is a message from one of Those," then if we have not independent power in ourselves of deciding the question on inner knowledge, the next step is either to believe the report or disbelieve it. In the case of H.P.B., in whose presence and through whom messages were said to come from the White Adepts, it was all the time, at the final analysis, a matter of faith in those who confessedly had and have no independent personal power to know by the use of their own inner senses. But there intuition, one of the inner powers, decided for the genuineness of the report and the authentication of the messages. She herself put it tersely in this way: "If you think no Mahatma wrote the theories I have given of man and nature and if you do not believe my report, then you have to conclude that I did it all." The latter conclusion would lead to the position that her acts, phenomena, and writings put her in the position usually accorded by us to a Mahatma. As to the letters or messages of a personal nature, each one had and has to decide for himself whether or not to follow the advice given.

Another class of cases is where a message is found in a closed letter, on the margin or elsewhere on the sheet. The outer senses decide whether the writer of the letter inserted the supposed message or had some one else do it, and that must be decided on what is known of the character of the person. If


you decide that the correspondent did not write it nor have anyone else do so, but that it was injected phenomenally, then the inner senses must be used. If they are untrained, certainly the matter becomes one of faith entirely, unless intuition is strong enough to decide correctly that a wise as well as powerful person caused the writing to appear there. Many such messages have been received in the history of the T.S. Some came in one way, some in another; one might be in a letter from a member of the Society, another in a letter from an outsider wholly ignorant of these matters. In every case, unless the recipient had independent powers developed within, no judgment on mere outer phenomena would be safe.

It is very difficult to find cases such as the above, because first, they are extremely rare, and second, the persons involved do not wish to relate them, since the matter transmitted had a purely personal bearing. A fancy may exist that in America or England or London such messages, generally considered bogus by enemies and outsiders, are being constantly sent and received, and that persons in various quarters are influenced to this or that course of action by them, but this is pure fancy, without basis in fact so far as the knowledge and experience of the writer extend. While precipitations phenomenally by the use of occult power and in a way unknown to science are possible and have occurred, that is not the means employed by the White Adepts in communicating with those thus favored. They have disciples with whom communication is already established and carried on, most generally through the inner ear and eye, but sometimes through the prosaic mail. In these cases no one else is involved and no one else has the right to put questions. The disciple reserves his communications for the guidance of his own action, unless he or she is directed to tell another. To spread broad-cast a mass of written communications among those who are willing to accept them without knowing how to judge would be the sheerest folly, only productive of superstition and blind credulity. This is not the aim of the Adepts nor the method they pursue. And this digression will be excused, it being necessary because the subject


of precipitation as a fact has been brought up very prominently. I may further digress to say that no amount of precipitations, however clear of doubt and fraud as to time, place, and outward method, would have the slightest effect on my mind or action unless my own intuition and inner senses confirmed them and showed them to be from a source which should call for my attention and concurrence.

How, then is this precipitation done, and what is the process? This question brings up the whole of the philosophy offered in the Secret Doctrine. For if the postulate of the metaphysical character of the Cosmos is denied, if the supreme power of the disciplined mind is not admitted, if the actual existence of an inner and real world is negatived, if the necessity and power of the image-making faculty are disallowed, then such precipitation is an impossibility, always was, and always will be. Power over mind, matter, space, and time depends on several things and positions. Needed for this are: Imagination raised to its highest limit, desire combined with will that wavers not, and a knowledge of the occult chemistry of Nature. All must be present or there will be no result.

Imagination is the power to make in the ether an image. This faculty is limited by any want of the training of mind and increased by good mental development. In ordinary persons imagination is only a vain and fleeting fancy which makes but a small impression comparatively in the ether. This power, when well-trained, makes a matrix in ether wherein each line, word, letter, sentence, color, or other mark is firmly and definitely made. Will, well-trained, must then be used to draw from the ether the matter to be deposited, and then, according to the laws of such an operation, the depositing matter collects in masses within the limits of the matrix and becomes from its accumulation visible on the surface selected. The will, still at work, has then to cut off the mass of matter from its attraction to that from whence it came. This is the whole operation, and who then is the wiser? Those learned in the schools laugh, and well they may, for there is not in science anything


to correspond, and many of the positions laid down are contrary to several received opinions. But in Nature there are vast numbers of natural effects produced by ways wholly unknown to science, and Nature does not mind the laughter, nor should any disciple.

But how is it possible to inject such a precipitation into a closed letter? The ether is all-pervading, and the envelope or any other material bar is no bar to it. In it is carried the matter to be deposited, and as the whole operation is done on the other side of visible nature up to the actual appearance of the deposit, physical obstructions do not make the slightest difference.

It is necessary to return for a moment to the case of precipitations through mediums. Here the matrix needs no trained imagination to make it nor trained will to hold it. In the astral light the impressions are cut and remain immovable; these are used by the elementals and other forces at work, and no disturbing will of sitter being able to interfere―simply from blind ignorance―there is no disturbance of the automatic unconscious work. In the sitter's aura are thousands of impressions which remain unmoved because all attention has been long ago withdrawn. And the older or simpler they are the more firmly do they exist. These constitute also a matrix through which the nature spirits work.

I can properly finish this with the incident mentioned at the beginning. It was with H.P.B. I was sitting in her room beside her, the distance between us being some four feet. In my hand I held a book she never had had in her possession and that I had just taken from the mail. It was clear of all marks, its title page was fresh and clean, no one had touched it since it left the bookseller. I examined its pages and began to read. In about five minutes a very powerful current of what felt like electricity ran up and down my side on the skin, and I looked up at her. She was looking at me and said: "What do you read? I had forgotten the title, as it was one I had never seen before, and so I turned back to the title page. There at the top on the margin where it had not been before was a sen-


tence of two lines of writing in ink, and the ink was wet, and the writing was that of H.P.B. who sat before me. She had not touched the book, but by her knowledge of occult law, occult chemistry, and occult will, she had projected out of the ink-bottle before her the ink to make the sentence, and of course it was in her own handwriting, as that was the easiest way to do it. Hence my own physical system was used to do the work, and the instant of its doing was when I felt the shock on the skin. This is to be explained in the way I have outlined, or it is to be all brushed aside as a lie or as a delusion of mine. But those last I can not accept, for I know to the contrary, and further I know that the advice, for such it was, in that sentence was good. I followed it and the result was good. Several other times also have I seen her precipitate on different surfaces, and she always said it was not proof of anything whatever save the power to do the thing, admitting that black and white magicians could do the same thing, and saying that the only safety for any one in the range of such forces was to be pure in motive, in thought, and in act.



Just as we have seen that precipitation is known to material science in electroplating and other arts, so also is it true that in most departments of applied science disintegration is understood, and that here and there reintegration of such substances as diamonds has been successfully accomplished. But these are all by mechanical or chemical processes. The question here is, whether―as in respect to precipitation―the occult powers of man and nature can bring about the results. Has anyone ever reduced a solid object to impalpable powder and then at a distant place restored the object to its former state? And, if so, how is it done? As to the first, I can only say that I have seen this done, and that many testimonies have been offered by others at various times for the same thing. In the records of Spiritualism there are a great many witnesses to this effect,


and accepting all cases in that field which are free from fraud the same remarks as were made about precipitation apply. With mediums it is unconsciously done; the laws governing the entire thing are unexplained by the medium or the alleged spirits; the whole matter is involved in obscurity so far as that cult is concerned, and certainly the returning spooks will give no answer until they find it in the brain of some living person. But the fact remains that among powerful physical mediums the operation has been performed by some unknown force acting under hidden guidance, itself as obscure.

This feat is not the same as apportation, the carrying or projecting of an object through space, whether it be a human form or any other thing. Buddhist and Hindu stories alike teem with such apportations; it is alleged of Apollonius the Greek, of Tyana; Christian saints are said to have been levitated and carried. In the Buddhist stories many of the immediate disciples of Buddha, both during his life and after his death, are said to have flown through the air from place to place; and in the history of Rama, some ascetics and Hanuman the monkey god are credited with having so levitated themselves.

So many metals and minerals may be volatilized that we may take it as a general rule that all―until an exception is met with―are volatile under the proper conditions. Gold is slow in this respect, some observers having kept it heated for two months with no loss of weight, and others found a small loss after exposing it to violent heat; a charge of electricity will dissipate it. Silver volatilizes at red heat, and iron can also be similarly affected. But when we come to wood or softer vegetable matter, the separation of its atoms from each other is more easily accomplished. The process of disintegrating by the use of occult forces and powers is akin to what we can do on the material plane. The result is the same, however the means employed may vary; that is, the molecules are pressed apart from each other and kept so. If by mechanical, chemical, and electrical processes man can bring about this result, there is no reason, save in an asserted unproved denial, why it may not be done by the use of the mind and will. Rarity or unusualness proves


nothing; when the telegraph was new its rarity proved nothing against its actuality; and it is every day becoming more the fashion to admit than it is to deny the possibility of anything in the realm opened up by our knowledge of electricity, while the probability is left merely to suspended judgment.

Passing from material science to the medical researches into hypnotism, we find there the stepping-stone between the purely mechanical physical processes and the higher subtler realm of the mind, the will, and the imagination. Here we see that the powerful forces wielded by the mind are able to bring about effects on bone, flesh, blood, and skin equal in measure to many processes of disintegration or volatilization. But in every-day life we have similar suggestive facts. In the blush and the cold chill which come instantaneously over the whole frame, spreading in a second from the mental source, are effects upon matter made directly from mind. Even a recollection of an event can easily bring on this physical effect. In hypnotic experiments the skin, blood, and serum may be altered so as to bring out all the marks and changes of a burn or abrasion. In these cases the mind influenced by another mind makes an image through which the forces act to cause the changes. It is possible because, as so often asserted by the ancient sages, the Universe is really Will and Idea, or, as is so well put in a letter from one of the Adepts, "the machinery of the cosmos is not only occult, it is ideal: and the higher metaphysics must be understood if one is to escape from the illusions under which men labor and which will continually lead them into the adoption of false systems respecting life and nature in consequence of the great 'collective hallucination' in which modern scientific persons glory so much, but which they do not call by that name."1

So much, then, being briefly premised, it is said by the schools of occultism, known not only since the rise of the Theosophical movement but followed for ages in the East and continued down to the present day in India―that the trained man by the use of his will, mind, and imagination can dis-

1 From an unpublished letter.


integrate an object, send it along currents definitely existing in space, transport the mass of atoms to a distant place, passing them through certain obstacles, and reintegrating the object at the given distant spot exactly with the same visibility, limits, and appearance as it had when first taken up for transport. But this has its limitations. It cannot ordinarily be done with a human living body. That would require such an expenditure of force and so interfere with the right of life that it may be excluded altogether. Size and resistance of obstacle have also to do with success or failure. Omnipotence of a sort that may transcend law is not admitted in Occultism; that the Adepts pointed out when they wrote that if they could at one stroke turn the world into an arcadia for lofty souls they would do so, but the world can only be conquered step by step and under the rule of law. It is the same in all operations that copy nature either chemically or mechanically. Hence it is said in these schools that "there are failures in occult art as well as among men." Such failures come from an inability to cope with limiting conditions.

We can analyse the phenomenon of disintegration and transport of mass of matter and reintegration in this way: There is the operator who must know how to use his will, mind, and imagination. Next is the object to be dealt with. Then there is the resisting obstacle through which it may have to pass; and the air, either, and astral light through which it travels. Lastly is the question whether or not there is the force called cohesion, by means of which masses of matter are held together within limits of form.

If it be said that the force known as gravity holds masses of matter together, we are reduced to accepting a more mysterious explanation for a common thing than the three persons in one God. But cohesion without any other postulate amounts merely to saying that masses of matter cohere because they cohere. Occultism, in common with the Vedantic philosophy, says that there is a force of cohesion which has its roots and power in the spirit and in the ideal form; and attraction and repulsion operate from the same base also. Further, that school


holds gravitation to be but an exhibition of the action of these two―attraction and repulsion. Living masses such as vegetables, animals, and men deal with matter in another state from that which is in minerals, and exhibit the quicker action of disintegrating forces; while minerals go to pieces very slowly. Both kinds are compelled in time to fall apart as masses in consequence of the action of evolutionary law when they are left altogether to themselves; that is, the whole quantity of matter of and belonging to the globe is continually subject to the hidden forces which are moulding it for higher uses and turning it, however slowly, into a higher class of matter. The normal rate is what we see, but this normal rate may be altered, and that it can be altered by intelligent mind and will is the fact. This alteration of rate is seen in the forcing processes used for plants by which they are made to grow much faster than is usual under common conditions. In the same way in masses of matter which will surely go to pieces in the course of time, long or short, the molecules may be pushed apart before their time and held so by the trained will. That is, the force of repulsion can be opposed to natural attraction so as to drive the molecules apart and hold them thus away from each other. When the repulsion is slackened, the molecules rush together again to assume their former appearance. In this case the shape is not altered, the largely diffused body of molecules retains its shape though invisible to the eye, and upon appearing to sight again it simply condenses itself into the smaller original limits, thus becoming dense enough to be once more seen and touched.

When a small object is thus disintegrated by occult means it can be passed through other objects. Or if it is to be transported without disintegration, then any dense intervening obstacle is disintegrated for a sufficient space to allow it to pass. That the latter is one of the feats of fakirs, yogis, and certain mediums can be hardly a matter of doubt except for those who deny the occult character of the cosmos. Alleged spirits in respect to this have said, "We make the intervening obstacle fluid or diffused, or do the same thing for the object


transported," and for once they seem to be right. A gentleman of high character and ability in the northwest told me that one a day a man unknown in his village came to the door, and exhibiting some rings of metal made one pass through the other, one of the rings seeming to melt away at the point of contact. H.P. Blavatsky has narrated to me many such cases, and I have seen her do the same thing. As, for instance, she has taken in my sight a small object such as a ring, and laying it on the table caused it to appear without her touching it inside of a closed drawer near by. Now in that instance either she disintegrated it and caused it to pass into the drawer, or disintegrated the drawer for a sufficient space, or she hypnotized me with all my senses on the alert, putting the object into the drawer while I was asleep and without my perceiving any sort of change whatever in my consciousness. The latter I cannot accept, but if it be held as true, then it was more wonderful that the other feat. The circumstances and motive were such as to exclude the hypnotizing theory; it was done to show me that such a phenomenon was possible and to give me a clue to the operation, and also to explain to me how the strange things of spiritualism might be done and, indeed, must be done under the laws of man's mind and nature.

Next we have the intelligent part of the matter to look at. Here the inner senses have to act under the guidance of a mind free from the illusions of matter, able to see into the occult cosmos behind the veil of objectivity. The will acts with immense force, exerting the powers both of attraction and repulsion as desired; knowledge of occult chemistry comes into use; the currents in the astral light or ether have to be known, as also how to make new currents. Those who have seen into the astral light and looked at the currents moving to and fro will understand this, other will either doubt, deny, or suspend judgment. The imagination as in the case of precipitation is of prime importance; for in these things imagination is the sight and the hand of the mind and the will, without which the latter can accomplish nothing, just as the will and brain of a man whose arms are cut off can do nothing unless


others aid him. But mind, will, and imagination do not reconstruct the disintegrated object, for as soon as the dispersing force is slackened from its hold on the mass of molecules, the imagination having held the image of the object, the atoms obediently and automatically rearrange themselves as before.

All this may seem fanciful, but there are those who know of their own knowledge that it is all according to fact. And it is doubtless true that in no long time modern science will begin, as it is even now slowly starting, to admit all these things by admitting in full the ideal nature of the cosmos, thus removing at once the materialistic notions of man and nature which mostly prevail at the present day.



The following is extracted from H.P.B.'s first book2, and is printed in this series with the belief that it will be useful as well as interesting. She gives some fundamental oriental propositions relating to occult arts, thus:

  1. There is no miracle. Everything that happens is the result of law-eternal, immutable, ever-active. Apparent miracle is but the operation of forces antagonistic to what Dr. W.B. Carpenter, F.R.S.―a man of great learning but little knowledge―calls "the well ascertained laws of nature." Like many of his class, Dr. Carpenter ignores the fact that there may be laws once "known," now unknown, to science.
  2. Nature is triune: there is a visible objective nature, an invisible, indwelling, energizing nature, the exact model of the other and its vital principle; and above these two is spirit, the source of all forces, alone eternal and indestructible. The lower two constantly change; the higher third does not.
  3. Man is also triune: he has his objective physical body; his vitalizing astral body (or soul), the real man; and these two are brooded over and illuminated by the third―the sovereign, the immortal spirit. When the real man succeeds in merging himself with the latter, he becomes an immortal entity.
  4. Magic, as a science, is the knowledge of these principles, and of the way by which the omniscience and omnipotence of

2 Isis Unveiled, Vol. ii, page 587, et seq.

  1. the spirit and its control over nature's forces may be acquired by the individual while still in the body. Magic, as an art, is the application of this knowledge in practice.
  2. Arcane knowledge misapplied is sorcery; beneficently used, true magic or WISDOM.
  3. Mediumship is the opposite of Adeptship; the medium is the passive instrument of foreign influences, the Adept actively controls himself and all inferior potencies.
  4. All things that ever were, that are, or that will be, having their record upon the astral light, or tablet of the unseen universe, the initiated Adept, by using the vision of his own spirit can know all that has been known or can be known.
  5. Races of men differ in spiritual gifts as in color, stature, or any other external quality; among some peoples seership naturally prevails, among others mediumship. Some are addicted to sorcery, and transmit its secret rules of practice from generation to generation, with a range of psychical phenomena, more or less wide, as the result.
  6. One phase of magical skill is the voluntary and conscious withdrawal of the inner man (astral form) from the outer man (physical body). In the cases of some mediums withdrawal occurs, but it is unconscious and involuntary. With the latter the body is more or less cataleptic at such times; but with the Adept the absence of the astral form would not be noticed, for the physical senses are alert, and the individual appears only as though in a fit of abstraction―"a brown study," as some call it.

    To the movements of the wandering astral form neither time nor space offers obstacles. The thaumaturgist thoroughly skilled in occult science can cause himself (that is, his physical body) to seem to disappear or to apparently take on any shape that he may choose. He may make his astral form visible, or he may give it protean appearances. In both cases these results will be achieved by a mesmeric hallucination of the senses of all witnesses, simultaneously brought on. This hallucination is so perfect that the subject of it would stake his life that he saw a reality, when it is but a picture in his own mind, impressed upon his consciousness by the irresistible will of the mesmerizer.

    But while the astral form can go anywhere, penetrate any obstacle, and be seen at any distance from the physical body, the latter is dependent upon ordinary methods of transportation. It may be levitated under prescribed magnetic conditions, but not pass from one locality to another except in the usual way. . . Inert matter may be in certain cases and under certain conditions disintegrated, passed through walls and recombined, but living animal organisms cannot.

  1. . . . Arcane science teaches that the abandonment of the living body by the soul frequently occurs, and that we encounter every day in every condition of life such living corpses. Various causes, among them overpowering fright, grief, despair, a violent attack of sickness, or excessive sensuality, may bring this about. The vacant carcass may be entered and inhabited by the astral form of an Adept, sorcerer, or an elementary (an earth-bound disembodied human soul), or, very rarely, an elemental. Of course an Adept of white magic has the same power, but unless some very exceptional and great object is to be accomplished he will never consent to pollute himself by occupying the body of an impure person. In insanity the patient's astral being is either semi-paralyzed, bewildered, and subject to the influence of every passing spirit of any sort, or it has departed, forever, and the body is taken possession of by some vampirish entity, near its own disintegration and clinging desperately to earth, whose sensual pleasures it may enjoy for a brief season longer by this expedient.

  2. The corner stone of MAGIC is an intimate practical knowledge of magnetism and electricity, their qualities, correlations, and potencies. Especially necessary is a familiarity with their effects within and upon the animal kingdom and man. There are occult properties in many other minerals equally strange with that in the lodestone, which all practitioners of magic must know, and of which so-called exact science is wholly ignorant. Plants also have like mystical properties in a most wonderful degree, and the secrets of the herbs of dreams and enchantments are only lost to European science, and, useless to say too, are unknown to it except in a few marked instances, such as opium and hashish. Yet the psychical effects of even these few upon the human system are regarded as evidences of a temporary mental disorder. . . .

To sum up all in a few words: MAGIC is spiritual WISDOM; nature the material ally, pupil, and servant of the magician. One common vital principle pervades all things, and this is controllable by the perfected human will. The Adept can stimulate the movements of the natural forces in plants and animals in a preternatural degree. Such experiments are not obstructions of nature but quickenings; the conditions of intenser vital action are given.

The Adept can control the sensations and alter the conditions of the physical and astral bodies of other persons not Adepts; he can also govern and employ, as he chooses, the spirits of the elements. He cannot control the immortal spirit of any human being, living or dead, for all such spirits are alike sparks of the Divine Essence and not subject to any foreign domination.

Propositions 2 and 3 contain and include the seven-fold


classification. In 1877 H.P.B. was writing for those who had known but the three-fold scheme. In number two the vital principle (prana or jiva) is given; the body with vitality makes two; the real man inside called the soul, being composed of astral body, desires, and mind, makes five; the spirit, including the connecting link of Buddhi, completes the seven. The will is one of the forces directly from spirit, and is guided, with ordinary men, by desire; in the Adept's case the will is guided by Buddhi, Manas, and Atma, including in its operation the force of a pure spiritual desire acting solely under law and duty.

Path, October, November, December, 1893;
January, 1894William Q. Judge


By William Q. Judge

The name Psychometry has been given to a faculty which, it is claimed, inheres in about seven out of every ten persons. But it seems to me to be a designation at once, inadequate and inaccurate, because it does not express to the mind all that is intended to be conveyed.

Expressed in many words, the power to psychometrise means: the power to bring up before the mental or spiritual eye, a panoramic view of all that has occurred to the object examined. The use of the word "psychometry" came about because it was laid down by Professors Buchanan and Denton, that by the power one measured the soul of the thing.

If the word "soul" means the innermost spiritual part of the thing measured, it will here be inadequate and incorrect; while, if it be held to mean the mere outside or accidental material part or attribute of the object, then it is perverted from its proper and intended use. The phenomena taken into consideration in the pursuit of psychometry, belong almost entirely to accidental or exterior impressions, which, while they percolate or permeate the whole mass of the object examined, never partake of its constitution or properties. At the same time, in psychometrising an object, the faculty under consideration takes account of the spirit or soul of the object. So that we see that the designation, soul-measuring, is not only inaccurate but also redundant. Some other word ought to be selected to express what we intend when we use the word "psychometry."

The Science of today does not recognize psychometry, because it does not allow that the human soul or mind has the


power to produce effects which it admits can be produced by the use of chemicals or electricity. It is admitted that a lasting and reproduceable impression can be made upon a piece of smooth steel by simply placing on it another object, such as a penny, and that the washed-out images on certain plates can be brought to light again by electricity or chemicals. But they will not admit that a man can, by simply holding the same plates in his hand or to his forehead, take off and bring up clearly before his mind's eye the same old and obliterated impressions. What they do admit, however, proves that those impressions are really lasting, and gives us ground for hoping that one day they will admit all the rest.

If one will erect a paper screen, say five feet square, and stand behind it, he will find, of course, that the view in front is obstructed completely. But make a pin-hole at the upper right-hand corner and place the eye thereat. What follows? He sees the objects which were hitherto concealed. Make another pin-hole at the opposite corner, five feet away, and the same objects or scene can be observed in their entirety. This can, of course, be repeated at all parts of the screen. If at the time that he is looking at the scene in front through the pin-hole at the upper right-hand corner, a camera-lens is put through a hole in the center of the screen, a photograph of all that he is looking at through the pin-hole will be taken by the camera.

This proves, conclusively, that the image of the object or scene in part is impressed or thrown against every part of the screen; and that the minutest point, or rather upon the very smallest piece of the screen, will be found a picture in its entirety of the whole object or scene that is before it, as well as a complete picture thrown over the whole body of the screen.

An ancient familiar illustration will exemplify my meaning. If one hold a drop of quicksilver on a plate, the face is reflected from it. If the drop be scattered into a thousand smaller drops, each one reflects the face again. Or, more easily understood yet: If five men stand affront of one man ten feet away, each pair of eyes of the five sees the one man; proving that there


exists on each separate retina a separate and complete image of the one object.

Theosophists and occultists from the earliest times have held that every object in the world receives and keeps all impressions, not only of all objects that stand before it, but also of all that happens before it; that these impressions are indelible and can at any time be taken off by man's nervous system and from that reported to the mind; and, therefore, that if we possess a piece of stone from the Roman Forum, we can reproduce to the mind, as clearly as a picture, all that happened in the Forum.

The use of the screen-illustration and our insistence upon it, was to show that no ridiculous or impossible claim is made when we say that the small fragment from the Forum will give a complete picture and not a fragmental one.

I received from a friend, in the year 1882, a piece of the linen wrapping of an Egyptian ibis found on the breast of a mummy. I handed it, wrapped up in tissue-paper, to a friend who did not know what, if anything, was in the paper. He put it to his forehead and soon began to describe Egyptian scenery; then an ancient city; from that he went on to describe a man in Egyptian clothes sailing on a river; then that this man went ashore into a grove where he killed a bird; then that the bird looked like pictures of an ibis, and ended by describing the man as returning with the bird to the city, the description of which tallied with the picture and description of ancient Egyptian cities.

I leave this coincidence, as science designates it, with those who can appreciate it at its true value.

When science begins to admit the existence in man of what the Christians call spirit, but which some people know to be matter in a finely-divided state, then will psychometry be studied as it should be, and incalculable aid and dazzling light be thrown upon archaeological and ethnological research.

But is there any hope for Science?

The Platonist, January, 1884


IN the spring of 1884, H.P.B. was staying in Rue Notre Dame des Champs, Paris, and in the house were living Col. Olcott, Mohini M. Chatterji and the writer. Part of the time Bertram Keightley was also there. As always since I have known H.P.B. during the past seventeen years, she was there as elsewhere engaged daily with her writing, save for an occasional drive or visit. Many visitors from all classes were constantly calling, and among the rest came the Countess d'Adhémar, who at once professed a profound admiration for H.P.B. and invited her to come to the Château owned by the Count at Enghien, just outside the city, including in her invitation myself and Mohini Chatterji. Bertram Keightley was also invited for a few days. The invitation was accepted and we all went out to Enghien, where H.P.B. was given two large rooms downstairs and the others slept in rooms on the upper floors. Every convenience was given to our beloved friend, and there she continued her writing, while I at her request carefully read over, sitting in the same room, Isis Unveiled, making indices at the foot of each page, as she intended to use it in preparing the Secret Doctrine.

A lake was at one side of the house and extensive grounds covered with fine timber hid the building from the road, part being a well kept fruit and flower garden. A slight description of the rooms is necessary. Wide stairs led up to the hall; on one side, which we may call the road front, was the billiard room, the high window of which opened upon the leaden roof of the porch; the dining room looked out at the back over the edge of the lake, and the drawing room opened from it on the other side at right angles to the side of the billiard room. This drawing room had windows opening on three sides, so that both garden and lake could be seen from it. In it was the grand piano at the end and side opposite the dining room door, and between the two side windows was s marble slab holding orna-


ments; between the windows at the end near the piano, was the fireplace, and at that corner was one of the windows giving a view of the lake, Every evening it was the custom to spend some time in the drawing room in conversation, and there, as well as in the dining room, took place some phenomena which indeed were no more interesting than the words of H.P.B., whether those were witty, grave or gay. Very often Countess d'Adhémar's sister played the piano in a manner to delight even H.P.B., who was no mean judge. I remember well one melody, just then brought out in the world of Paris, which pleased her immensely, so that she often asked for its repetition. It was one suggestive of high aspiration and grandiose conceptions of nature. Many lively discussions with the Count on one side and H.P.B. on the other had place there, and often in the very midst of these she would suddenly turn to Mohini and myself, who were sitting listening, to repeat to us the very thoughts then passing in our brains.

Count d'Adhémar did not ask for the production of phenomena, but often said that could he and a few of his friends be convinced about Theosophy perhaps much good would result in France. Some of us desired in our hearts that in the home of such kind friends phenomena might occur, but none suggested it to H.P.B. But one day at dinner, when there were present the Count and Countess, their son Raoul, H.P.B., Mohini, the Countess' sister, myself, and one other, the strong and never-to-be-forgotten perfume which intimate friends of H.P.B. knew so well as often accompanying phenomena or coming of itself, floated round and round the table, plainly perceptible to several and not perceived either before or afterwards. Of course many skeptics will see nothing in this, but the writer and others well know that this of itself is a phenomenon, and that the perfume has been sent for many miles through the air as a message from H.P.B. or from those hidden persons who often aided in phenomena or in teachings. At this dinner, or at some other during the visit, we had all just come in from the flower garden. I had plucked a small rosebud and placed it upon the edge of the tumbler be-


tween myself and the Countess' sister who was on my left, H.P.B. being seated on my right. This lady began to talk of phenomena, wondering if H.P.B. could do as related of the Indian yogis. I replied that she could if she would, but did not ask her, and added that she could make even that small rosebud bloom at once. Just then H.P.B. stretched her hand out towards the rose, not touching it, and said nothing, continuing at once her conversation and the dinner. We watched the bud until the end of the meal and saw that it grew in that space of time much larger and bloomed out into a rose nearly full grown.

On another evening after we had all been in the drawing room for some time, sitting without lights, the moon shining over the lake and all nature being hushed, H.P.B. fell into a thoughtful state. Shortly she rose and stood at the corner window looking over the water, and in a moment a flash of soft light shot into the room and she quietly smiled. Reminding me of this evening the Countess d'Adhémar writes in this month of June:-

H.P.B. seemed wrapped in thought, when suddenly she rose from her chair, advanced to the open window, and raising her arm with a commanding gesture, faint music was heard in the distance, which advancing nearer and nearer broke into lovely strains and filled the drawing room where we were all sitting. Mohini threw himself at H.P.B.'s feet and kissed the hem of her robe, which action seemed the appropriate outcoming of the profound admiration and respect we all felt toward the wonderful being whose loss we will never cease to mourn.

This astral music was very plain to us all, and the Count especially remarked upon its beauty and the faintness of it as it sank away into the unknown distance. The whole house was full of these bell sounds at night when I was awake very late and others had retired. They were like signals going and coming to H.P.B.'s room downstairs. And on more than one occasion as we walked in the grounds under the magnificent trees, have they shot past us, sometimes audible to all and again only heard by one or two.

The lead roof of the portico was a place where after dinner


we sometimes sat, and there on some of those delightful evenings we were joined by the Countess Wachtmeister, who afterwards did so much for the comfort of H.P.B. at Würzburg and other places. Many chats were held there about occultism. In one of these we were speaking of images in the Astral Light and H.P.B. said: "Well, you know that it moves as other things in Kosmos do, and that the time comes when it floats off, as it were, letting another mass of the same 'light' take its place."

It was with a feeling of some regret that we left this delightful place where such quiet reigned and where H.P.B. was able to work amid the beauty and the stillness of nature. It cannot be blotted from the memory, because there our friend and teacher was untroubled by the presence of curiosity seekers, and thus was free to present to us who believed in her a side of her many-sided nature which pleased, instructed and elevated us all.

One incident remains to be told for which we must depend on others. I took away with me a book which could not be finished there, and just before leaving France went out to Enghien to return it. There I met the Countess d'Adhémar, who said that the peculiar and unmistakable perfume of which I spoke above had come in the house after we had all left. It was one evening about two days after H.P.B.'s departure and the d'Adhémars had some friends to dinner. After dinner they all went into the drawing room and soon noticed the perfume. It came, as they said to me, in rushes, and at once they began to hunt it out in the room, coming at last to the marble slab described, where, from one spot in the stone, they found the perfume rushing out in volumes. Such was the quantity of it that, as the Countess said to me, they were compelled to open the windows, since the odour was overpowering in large masses. In returning to Paris I told H.P.B. of this and she only said: "It sometimes happens."

Lucifer, July, 1891William Q. Judge


A good deal for and against Cagliostro has been said since the time when he disappeared from the scene, and so much has been written against him by his enemies, especially the members of the order of Jesus, that the ordinary run of people have come to think of him as no more than an impostor, and a very cheap one at that. This has been pushed so far that his name in the encyclopædias stands for one of the great charlatans who from time to time are said to appear for the delusion of mankind and their own profit. The same sort of reputation has been given also to our honored fellow student Helena P. Blavatsky, and for similar reasons, with just as little basis. Indeed, there seems to be little doubt that in time to come her enemies, like his, will delight to call her a great impostor, as has been done already by a little-minded so-called investigator who went all the way to India to look into matters theosophical.

If Cagliostro was in fact an impostor, it is a strange thing that so much attention was paid to him by the very best men and women of Europe. That fact will always call for explanation, and, until it is given due weight, the unbeliever in encyclopædias will be likely to think a good deal of the Count. There are some persons now of quite bright minds and wide acquaintance with men who say they believe he is still living, not under his old name but with another, and that he is engaged in a great work which embraces the whole human family. This may or may not be true, since it calls for a very great age on his part, but the student of the occult knows that we are neither old nor young, but ever immortal.


The great Prince Talleyrand has left us something regarding Cagliostro which is of weight. It is to be found in a book published in London in 1848, containing the Memoirs of the Prince by his private secretary M. Colemache, in chapter four. It there appears that the Prince was asked to give the incidents of his visit to Cagliostro, and did so at some length. He had heard so much about the Count that he resolved to pay him a visit and see for himself the man about whom nearly every one was talking. An appointment was made, and at the time set Talleyrand called and was ushered into the presence, where he found the strange figure―a woman dressed in black and whose face was veiled―of whom much has also been said on the ground that she was alleged to be the confederate of Cagliostro or else a very good sensitive or medium. The Count appeared to be busy, and gazed into the eyes of the Prince with such a peculiar stare that the latter was not able to collect his thoughts, obliging Cagliostro to remind him of the many people waiting for an audience who could not be kept waiting if there was nothing to be said. Thereupon, as the Prince says himself, being utterly confused he failed to recollect the posers he had prepared, and was forced to ask Cagliostro if he could tell him anything about a certain Countess. The reply he received to this was that she would be at the theatre that night and would wear a certain dress and certain ornaments. Then Talleyrand asked if he could have a remedy for headaches she often had, and Cagliostro reaching down took up a jug and gave the Prince what looked like water. It was directed to be applied to her forehead, and the strict injunction given that no one else was under any circumstances to handle the bottle or touch the water. Talleyrand then went off, the Countess appeared at the theatre exactly as was said, and after the play the party, including Talleyrand, went to a supper. The meal had progressed almost to the coffee when some one asked for the result of the visit to the supposed impostor. The Prince produced the bottle, but, contrary to the directions, allowed every one of the company to smell it and handle it. It was then proposed to apply the water to the fair forehead of the Count-


ess, but there was some hesitation, until at last a quantity of the liquid was poured in the hand of one of the guests and placed on her forehead. Immediately she screamed with pain, but the hand could not be easily withdrawn; it had to be pulled off with violence, and with it came a large patch of the lady's skin. The next day the police were sent after Cagliostro, and the jug of liquid was taken to an official analyst who made report that it was water and nothing else, just the same as what was in the bottle. This could not be explained by the Prince, but on the examination Cagliostro said it was indeed water which he had strongly magnetised, and that if the Prince had followed directions no harm would have come; he, however, had permitted a lot of roysterers to handle and smell it, and they had turned the immensely strong magnetism into the violent agent it turned out to be. Of course the manufacturers of hypotheses will say that it was not water but "some" acid or the like, not being able, though, to tell what they mean exactly. The incident is well attested and made a deep impression on the Prince, who gives evidence thus to facts and not to disputable theories.

Path, October, 1890J. QUILTER


The faculty of imagination has been reduced to a very low level by modern western theorisers upon mental philosophy. It is "only the making of pictures, daydreaming, fancy and the like": thus they have said about one of the noblest faculties in man. In Occultism it is well known to be of the highest importance that one should have the imagination under such control as to be able to make a picture of anything at any time, and if this power has not been so trained the possession of other sorts of knowledge will not enable one to perform certain classes of occult phenomena.

Those who have read Mr. Sinnett's Occult World will have noticed two or three classes of phenomena performed by H. P. Blavatsky and her unseen friends, and those who have investigated spiritualism will know that in the latter have been many cases of similar phenomena done by so-called "controls." Others who made no such investigations have, however, on their own account seen many things done by forces not mechanical but of a nature which must be called occult or psychical. In spiritualism, and by the Adepts like H. P. Blavatsky and others, one thing has excited great interest, that is the precipitating on to paper or other substances of messages out of the air, as it were, and without any visible contact between the sender of the message and the precipitated letters themselves. This has often occurred in séances with certain good mediums, and the late Stanton Moses wrote in a letter which I say many years ago that there had come under his hand certain messages precipitated out of the air. But in these cases the medium never knows what is to be precipitated, cannot


control it at will, is in fact wholly ignorant of the whole matter and the forces operating and how they operate. The elemental forces make the pictures through which the messages are precipitated, and as the inner nature of the medium is abnormally developed, acting subconsciously to the outer man, the whole process is involved in darkness so far as spiritualism is concerned. But not so with trained minds or wills such as possessed by Madame Blavatsky and all like her in the history of the past, including the still living Adepts.

The Adepts who consciously send messages from a distance or who impress thoughts or sentences on the mind of another at a distance are able to do so because their imagination has been fully trained.

The wonderworker of the East who make you see a snake where there is none, or who causes you to see a number of things done in your presence which were not done in fact, is able to so impress you with his trained imagination, which, indeed, is also often in his case an inheritance, and when inherited it is all the stronger when trained and the easier to put into training. In the same way but to a much smaller degree the modern western hypnotizer influences his subject by the picture he makes with his imagination in those cases where he causes the patient to see or not to see at will, and if that power were stronger in the West than it is, the experiments of the hypnotizing schools would be more wonderful than they are.

Take the case of precipitation. In the first place, all the minerals, metals, and colored substances any one could wish for use are in the air about us held in suspension. This has long been proved so as to need no argument now. If there be any chemical process known that will act on these substances, they can be taken from the air and thrown down before us into visibility. This visibility only results from the closer packing together of the atoms of matter composing the mass. Modern science has only a few processes for thus precipitating, but while they do not go to the length of precipitating in letters or figures they do show that such precipitation is possible.


Occultism has a knowledge of the secret chemistry of nature whereby those carbons and other substances in the air may be drawn out at will either separately or mixed. The next step is to find for these substances so to be packed together a mold or matrix through which they may be poured, as it were, and, being thus closely packed, become visible. Is there such mold or matrix?

The matrix is made by means of the trained imagination. It must have been trained either now or in some other life before this, or no picture can be precipitated nor message impressed on the brain to which it is directed. The imagination make a picture of each word of each letter of every line and part of line in every letter and work and having made that picture it is held there by the will and the imagination acting together for such a length of time as is needed to permit the carbons or other substances to be strained down through this matrix and appear upon the paper. This is exactly the way in which the Masters of H.P.B. sent those messages which they did not write with their hands, for while they precipitated some they wrote some others and sent them by way of the ordinary mail.

The explanation is the same for the sending of a message by words which the receiver is to hear. The image of the person who is to be the recipient has to be made and held in place; that is, in each of these cases you have to become as it were a magic lantern or a camera obscure and if the image of the letters or if the image of the person be let go or blurred, all the other forces will shoot wide of the mark and naught be accomplished. If a picture were made of the ineffectual thoughts of the generality of people, it would show little lines of force flying out from their brains and instead of reaching their destination falling to the earth just a few feet away from the person who is thus throwing them out.

But, of course, in the case of sending and precipitating on to paper a message from a distance, a good many other matters have to be well known to the operator. For instance, the inner as well as the outer resistance of all substances have to be


known, for if not calculated they will throw the aim out, just as the billiard ball may be deflected if the resistance of the cushion is variable and not known to be so by the player. And again, if a living human being has to be used as the other battery at this end of the line, all the resistances and also all the play of that person's thought have to be known or a complete failure may result. This will show those who inquire about phenomena, or who at a jump wish to be adepts or to do as the adepts can do, what a task it is they would undertake. But there is still another consideration, and that is that inasmuch as all these phenomena have to do with the very subtle and powerful planes of matter it must follow that each time a phenomenon is done the forces of those planes are roused to action, and reaction will be equal to action in these things just as on the ordinary plane.

An illustration will go to make clear what has been said of the imagination. One day H.P. Blavatsky said she would show me precipitation in the very act. She looked fixedly at a certain smooth piece of wood and slowly on it come out letters which at last made a long sentence. It formed before my eyes and I could see the matter condense and pack itself on the surface. All the letters were like such as she would make with her hand, just because she was making the image in her brain and of course followed her own peculiarities. But in the middle, one of the letters were blurred and, as it were, all split into a mass of mere color as to part of the letter.

"Now here," she said, "I purposely wandered in the image, so that you could see the effect. As I let my attention go, the falling substance had no matrix and naturally fell on the wood any way and without shape."

A friend on whom I could reply told me that he once asked a wonderworker in the East what he did when he made a snake come and go before the audience, and he replied that he had been taught from very early youth to see a snake before him and that it was so strong an image everyone had to see it.

"But," said my friend, "how do you tell it from a real snake?"


The man replied that he was able to see through it, so that for him it looked like the shadow of a snake, but that if he had not done it so often he might be frightened by it himself. The process he would not give, as he claimed it was a secret in his family. But anyone who has made the trial knows that it is possible to train the imagination so as to at will bring up before the mind the outlines of any object whatsoever, and that after a time the mind seems to construct the image as if it were a tangible thing.

But there is a wide difference between this and the kind of imagination which is solely connected with some desire or fancy. In the latter case the desire and the image and the mind with all its powers are mixed together, and the result, instead of being a training of the image-making power, is to bring on a decay of that power and only a continual flying to the image of the thing desired. This is the sort of use of the power of the imagination which has lowered it in the eyes of the modern scholar, but even that result would not have come about if the scholars had a knowledge of the real inner nature of man.

Path, December, 1892William